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Micron Delivers 176-layer NAND and 1α (1-alpha) DRAM Technology

AleksandarK

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Micron, the US-based manufacturer of various kinds of memory technologies, has today announced some quite interesting products at its Computex 2021 keynote. For starters, the company has announced a new portfolio of products based on 176-layer NAND. There are currently two products listed that use this new technology and those are the Micron 3400 and 2450 M.2 NVMe SSDs. Based on the PCIe 4.0 interface, the 2450 SSD lineup is designed as a value-oriented solution that comes in M.2-2280, M.2-2242, and M.2-2230 sizes. It ranges from 256 GB to 1 TB in capacities, which are supposed to be priced as a value purchase.

In a contrast, the 3400 SSD is M.2-2280 design, meant for only the highest performance. The sequential read speeds go up to 6600 MB/s, while the sequential writes go up to 5000 MB/s (in the case of the 2 TB model). Capacities range from 512 GB to 2 TB and only the 1 TB and 2 TB variants have the 5000 MB/s write speeds, while the 512 GB version is capped at 3600 MB/s speed. Both SSD models are featuring a heat spreader on top of NAND chips and spot an in-house and Micron-developed NVMe 1.4 SSD controller. However, Micron does note that the company is free to use any 3rd party SSD controller as we are deep in component shortages with high demand for SSDs. You can get an in-depth look at the 2450 and 3400 M.2 SSDs from Micron's website.



Another big announcement Micron made was the shipment of the world's first 1α-based LPDDR4x and DDR4 memories. The 1α (1-alpha) process is designed to reduce power consumption and increase density. Micron claims that the new process delivers a 40% density increase and up to 20% improvement in power savings. This is no small gain, and if the claims are true, a whole plethora of mobile devices will receive benefits.

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About time. Really wonder what 8Gbit R and 16Gbit F DDR4 ICs will shape up to be. The former made it to their datasheets back in December, I just haven't seen any in the wild sans an engineering sample (as reported by someone) which didn't fare bad at all OC-ing wise (that's what a nutcase like yours truly is the most interested in).
They seem to have either experimented a lot or put a lot of trust into this process. It goes by the Z40x Design ID family and I've counted six distinct DDR4 revisions in this new family already. Thaiphoon reports 8Gbit R as made on a 15nm process but it's hard to tell at this point, with all the alphas :D For comparison, family Z30x (16nm) seemed to only have 3 revisions (1 of which is a unicorn), Z20x (17nm) had 5 (1 of which is a unicorn, 1 a highly suspected plain downbin... and 1 is awesome), and their growth wasn't immediate...
 

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Kinda disappointed about the max capacity, I was expecting more. Otherwise, I expect the usual solid (if not cutting edge) products from Micron.
 
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Kinda disappointed about the max capacity, I was expecting more. Otherwise, I expect the usual solid (if not cutting edge) products from Micron.
Early days still, expect 4TB drives with these chips in due time, unless costs for SSDs are going to go crazy as everything else.
 

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Early days still, expect 4TB drives with these chips in due time, unless costs for SSDs are going to go crazy as everything else.
The cheaper ones top out at 1GB, I highly doubt we'll see them reaching 4. That's what I care about, at those size we're talking storage drives, I don't need high performance. Should Micron offer a ~$200 4TB high performance drive, I'll be happy to eat my words.
 
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The cheaper ones top out at 1GB, I highly doubt we'll see them reaching 4. That's what I care about, at those size we're talking storage drives, I don't need high performance. Should Micron offer a ~$200 4TB high performance drive, I'll be happy to eat my words.
Well, this is 176 layer 3D NAND, so it should be the type of NAND that will be used for higher capacity drives.
It should also be reasonably priced, but we'll have to wait and see about that.

No-one will offer a $200 4TB SSD today, or this year, as prices are expected to go up. However, this NAND is a step on the way there.
You can get a 2TB SATA drive for that today though, possibly even a budget NVMe drive.
 

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Well, this is 176 layer 3D NAND, so it should be the type of NAND that will be used for higher capacity drives.
It should also be reasonably priced, but we'll have to wait and see about that.

No-one will offer a $200 4TB SSD today, or this year, as prices are expected to go up. However, this NAND is a step on the way there.
You can get a 2TB SATA drive for that today though, possibly even a budget NVMe drive.
And there lies the problem: I can already get 2TB for ~$200. If this new NAND doesn't allow me to buy more, what's the point?
I mean, there's a valid point for the manufacturer, profits, capacity and stuff, I just feel unexcited as a consumer.
 
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And there lies the problem: I can already get 2TB for ~$200. If this new NAND doesn't allow me to buy more, what's the point?
I mean, there's a valid point for the manufacturer, profits, capacity and stuff, I just feel unexcited as a consumer.
Well, that's not how it works though.
This allows more NAND per package, but each package costs more, as it has more NAND in it.
But two packages are cheaper than four, for 2TB.
So your logic is flawed in this case.
 

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Well, that's not how it works though.
This allows more NAND per package, but each package costs more, as it has more NAND in it.
But two packages are cheaper than four, for 2TB.
So your logic is flawed in this case.
It's not flawed. I just said if all I can get is a slight price reduction, I don't really care. I need a substantial price reduction, so I can afford to buy higher capacity drives.
 
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