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Micron Tapes Out 128-layer 3D NAND Flash Memory

Micron Technology has taped out its 4th generation 3D NAND flash memory with 128 layers. This paves the way for mass production and product implementations in 2020. The 4th gen 3D NAND by Micron continues to use a CMOS-under-array design, but with Replacement Gate (RG) Technology instead of Floating Gate, which Micron and the erstwhile IMFlash Technology had been using for years. Micron is currently mass-producing 96-layer 3D NAND flash, and TLC remains the prominent data-storage physical layer despite the advent of QLC (4 bits per cell).

Micron comments that this 4th gen 128-layer 3D NAND will be a stopgap restricted to a select few applications, and may not see the kind of adoption as its current 96-layer chips. The company appears to be more focused on its evolution, possibly the 5th generation 3D NAND, which are expected to bring tangible cost-per-bit gains for the company, as it transitions to a newer silicon fabrication node, and implements even newer technologies besides RG. "We achieved our first yielding dies using replacement gate or "RG" for short. This milestone further reduces the risk for our RG transition. As a reminder, our first RG node will be 128 layers and will be used for a select set of products. We don't expect RG to deliver meaningful cost reductions until FY2021 when our second-generation RG node is broadly deployed. Consequently, we are expecting minimal cost reductions in NAND in FY2020. Our RG production deployment approach will optimize the ROI of our NAND capital investments," said Sanjay Mehrotra, CEO and president of Micron.

ADATA Releases New MLC IESU317 External SSD and IUFU33B Flash Drive

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high-performance DRAM modules, NAND Flash products, and mobile accessories is pleased to announce the ADATA IESU317 external solid state drive (SSD) and the IUFU33B flash drive. Both products are equipped with MLC NAND flash and support the high-speed USB 3.2 interface, which combines excellent durability with next-gen performance. The products are compatible with a wide range of operating systems for plug-and-play usability and provide users a practical, convenient, and reliable mobile storage solution.

The IESU317 external SSD sports a slim form factor of just 9.6 mm (0.38in) and a sandblasted metal casing with a matte finish that is not only highly durable but also resistant to scratching and fingerprints. With the next-generation USB 3.2 Gen 1 interface, the SSD delivers read and write speeds of up to 435/400 MB per second, for speedy data transfers and back up. Equipped with MLC NAND flash, the IESU317 provides a higher P/E Cycle (Program/Erase Cycle) than its TLC counterparts of up to 3K. This significantly extends data retention and reduces the risk of data corruption or loss. What's more, the SSD features AES 256-bit encryption for robust data protection and comes with up to 1 TB capacity, making it especially suitable for users working in animation, photography, graphic design, or any users that need to encrypt, back up, and store data only a daily basis.

Greenliant Offers Superior Data Retention and Endurance with EnduroSLC SATA NANDrive SSDs

Greenliant is now sampling its SATA 6Gb/s NANDrive EX Series ball grid array (BGA) solid state drives (SSDs) to customers that require superior data retention and high program-erase (P/E) cycles. Designed with Greenliant's EnduroSLC Technology, SATA 6 Gb/s NANDrive EX Series SSDs are capable of performing 50K, 100K and industry-leading 250K+ P/E cycles. EnduroSLC Technology substantially enhances data retention and extends write endurance of 1-bit-per-cell (SLC) SSDs with advanced hardware ECC capabilities and NAND flash management algorithms.

Developed with Greenliant's DRAM-less controller, SATA 6 Gb/s NANDrive has enhanced power loss data protection and offers four times the performance over the previous generation of SATA NANDrive products. SATA 6 Gb/s SSDs support Native Command Queuing (NCQ) up to 32 commands and use advanced NAND management techniques to optimize the device's performance during its lifetime. With faster read/write speeds and available in a wide range of capacities (2 GB - 128 GB), SATA 6 Gb/s NANDrive EX Series is ideal for high-performance computing, industrial, transportation, video and networking applications.

Samsung Launches Sixth Generation 3D V-NAND SSDs

Samsung Electronics, the world leader in advanced memory technology, today announced that it has begun mass producing 250-gigabyte (GB) SATA solid state drive (SSD) that integrates the company's sixth-generation (1xx-layer) 256-gigabit (Gb) three-bit V-NAND for global PC OEMs. By launching a new generation of V-NAND in just 13 months, Samsung has reduced the mass production cycle by four months while securing the industry's highest performance, power efficiency and manufacturing productivity.

"By bringing cutting-edge 3D memory technology to volume production, we are able to introduce timely memory lineups that significantly raise the bar for speed and power efficiency," said Kye Hyun Kyung, executive vice president of Solution Product & Development at Samsung Electronics. "With faster development cycles for next-generation V-NAND products, we plan to rapidly expand the markets for our high-speed, high-capacity 512 Gb V-NAND-based solutions."

Toshiba Memory Introduces XL-FLASH Storage Class Memory Solution

Toshiba Memory America, Inc. (TMA), the U.S.-based subsidiary of Toshiba Memory Corporation, today announced the launch of a new Storage Class Memory (SCM) solution: XL-FLASH. Based on the company's innovative BiCS FLASH 3D flash memory technology with 1-bit-per-cell SLC, XL-FLASH brings low latency and high performance to data center and enterprise storage. Sample shipments will start in September, with mass production expected to begin in 2020.

Classified as SCM (or persistent memory), with the ability to retain its contents like NAND flash memory, XL-FLASH bridges the performance gap that exists between DRAM and NAND. While volatile memory solutions such as DRAM provide the access speed needed by demanding applications, that performance comes at a high cost. As the cost-per-bit and scalability of DRAM levels off, this new SCM (or persistent memory) layer in the memory hierarchy addresses that issue with a high density, cost effective, non-volatile NAND flash memory solution. Poised for growth, industry analyst firm IDC estimates the SCM market is expected to reach in excess of $3B in 2022.

Marvell Announces 88SS1320-series PCIe Gen4 NVMe SSD Controllers

Marvell today released the industry's lowest power PCIe Gen4 NVMe solid-state drive (SSD) controller portfolio. Marvell's newest SSD controllers are designed to meet the need for lower power and higher performance in next-generation data centers and edge devices as artificial intelligence (AI) and 5G gain momentum. This breakthrough technology delivers unparalleled performance in an ultra-compact footprint, leveraging the company's complex system-on-chip (SoC) design expertise and groundbreaking storage IP to help data center, notebook, tablet, gaming and edge computing platform architects advance their solutions for the highly distributed data era.

"Marvell's latest family of storage controllers has been architected to optimally address edge computing and data center pain points of power-performance and capacity-performance," said Nigel Alvares, vice president of marketing for the Flash Business Unit at Marvell Semiconductor, Inc. "With today's launch, we're once again demonstrating Marvell's leadership in storage, delivering the industry's first 4-Channel PCIe Gen4 NVMe SSD controllers with the industry's lowest power consumption that will help revolutionize SSD solutions for the data economy."

SK Hynix Starts Mass-Producing World's First 128-Layer 4D NAND

SK Hynix Inc. announced today that it has developed and starts mass-producing the world's first 128-Layer 1 Tb (Terabit) TLC (Triple-Level Cell) 4D NAND Flash, only eight months after the Company announced the 96-Layer 4D NAND Flash last year.

The 128-Layer 1 Tb NAND chip offers the industry's highest vertical stacking with more than 360 billion NAND cells, each of which stores 3 bits, per one chip. To achieve this, SK Hynix applied innovative technologies, such as "ultra-homogeneous vertical etching technology," "high-reliability multi-layer thin-film cell formation technology," and ultra-fast low-power circuit design, to its own 4D NAND technology.

SMART Modular Announces Rugged S5E SLC SSD

SMART Modular Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of SMART Global Holdings, Inc., (NASDAQ: SGH), and a leader in specialty memory, storage and hybrid solutions including memory modules, Flash memory cards and other solid state storage products, today announced a new addition to its SMART RUGGED product offering, the S5E 2.5" SATA SSD

The S5E SSD provides comprehensive encryption and security features such as quick erase, SMART's Security Data Elimination Technology (SDET) which meets current declassification standards, and erase triggers, making it an ideal data recording and storage tool for surveillance, defense and telemetry applications where data must remain secure or erased in mission-critical scenarios.

Toshiba Memory to Rebrand as "Kioxia" in October

Toshiba Memory Holdings Corporation announced today that it will officially change its name to Kioxia Holdings Corporation on October 1, 2019. The name Kioxia (kee-ox-ee-uh) will be adopted for the names of all Toshiba Memory companies, largely effective on the same date.

Kioxia is a combination of the Japanese word kioku meaning "memory" and the Greek word axia meaning "value." Merging "memory" with "value," Kioxia represents the company's mission to uplift the world with "memory," which forms the foundation of the company's vision. Kioxia will cultivate the new era of memory, defined by rapidly increasing demands for large-capacity, high-performance storage and data processing, which positions the company to grow sustainably as a leading flash memory producer for many years to come.

Greenliant Introduces 88 PX Series NVMe M.2 ArmourDrive SSDs

Greenliant has started sampling its NVMe M.2 ArmourDrive solid state drive (SSD) modules to customers requiring high-performance, high-capacity removable data storage that can withstand extreme environments. The new industrial temperature (-40°C to +85°C) 88 PX Series NVMe M.2 ArmourDrive SSDs use 3-bits-per-cell (TLC) 3D NAND flash memory and are built in the widely used 2242 and 2280 form factors.

88 PX Series NVMe ArmourDrive SSDs provide high performance and low latency for high transactional and business critical applications. NVMe is a highly scalable protocol optimized for efficient data transport over PCIe for storage on NAND flash. Small form factor, power efficient M.2 2242 products support the PCIe Gen3x2 interface and can reach up to 1,550/950 MB/s sequential read/write performance. Offered with hardware encryption and DRAM, M.2 2280 products support the PCIe Gen3x4 interface and can reach up to 3,470/3,000 MB/s sequential read/write performance. These versatile NVMe M.2 ArmourDrive form factors are ideal for space-constrained, embedded and enterprise systems in cloud computing, broadcasting, industrial gaming, factory automation, networking and security.

Sabrent Intros Rocket PCIe 4.0 NVMe 1TB SSD at $230

American flash memory products manufacturer Sabrent announced a client-segment M.2 NVMe SSD that takes advantage of PCIe gen 4.0, the Rocket NVMe 4.0 series. Based on the same Phison PS5016-E16 controller as most PCIe gen 4.0 SSDs launched so far, the drive uses 96-layer 3D TLC NAND flash by Toshiba. It also appears to have higher on-paper performance numbers than most drives from other brands that use the same combination of controller and NAND flash, with up to 5,000 MB/s sequential reads, and up to 4,400 MB/s sequential writes, on both its 1 TB and 2 TB variants. The company didn't bother with a sub-terabyte variant. The 1 TB variant is priced at USD $229.99 ($0.23 per GB), and the 2 TB variant at $429.99 ($0.21 per GB).

Toshiba, WD NAND Production in Yokkaichi Hit With Power Outage: 6 Exabytes of NAND Production Affected

In another episode of the "so timely considering market projections for NAND pricing" news, Toshiba and Western Digital have disclosed expected impacts following an unexpected, 13-minute power outage on June 15th, that affected the companies' joint manufacturing facilities in Yokkaichi, Japan. Western Digital announced a loss of almost 6 Exabytes of NAND production - Toshiba is expected to have lost anywhere between 6 Exabytes and 9 Exabytes themselves, since they usually have their factories working closer to full capacity. Return to standard manufacturing rates is expected to only occur by mid-July.

Damage includes impacted wafers that were being processed, the facilities, and production equipment, hence the need for an extended inoperability period to seriously assess damages and required reinvestment. 35% of the world's NAND supply is produced at this Yokkaichi Operation campus (which includes six factories and an R&D center), so this outage and NAND flash loss is likely to impact the global markets. Whether or not this is enough to move the needle from oversupply to undersupply is as of yet unknown, but it is unlikely so - although pricing changes are expected after Q3 and Q4 orders have been settled (whose pricing has already been settled and can't be subject to change). Loss of confidence in the Toshiba and Western Digital manufacturing venture, however, could help offset some of that pricing increase. Obviously, companies have insurance policies that cover them in case of such unexpected events - should they fall squarely out of the control of said companies.

SK Hynix Starts Mass-Producing World's First 128-Layer 4D NAND, Working on 176-Layer NAND

SK hynix Inc. announced today that it has developed and started mass-producing the world's first 128-Layer 1 Tb (Terabit) TLC (Triple-Level Cell) 4D NAND Flash, only eight months after the Company announced the 96-Layer 4D NAND Flash last year.

The 128-Layer 1 Tb NAND chip offers the industry's highest vertical stacking with more than 360 billion NAND cells, each of which stores 3 bits, per one chip. To achieve this, SK hynix applied innovative technologies, such as "ultra-homogeneous vertical etching technology," "high-reliability multi-layer thin-film cell formation technology," and ultra-fast low-power circuit design, to its own 4D NAND technology.

The new product provides the industry's highest density of 1 Tb for TLC NAND Flash. A number of companies including SK hynix have developed 1 Tb QLC (Quad-Level Cell) NAND products, but SK hynix is the first to commercialize the 1 Tb TLC NAND Flash. TLC accounts for more than 85% of the NAND Flash market with excellent performance and reliability.

NAND Manufacturers Accelerate Deployment of 120/128 Layer 3D NAND Fabrication

A report from DigiTimes pits NAND manufacturers as accelerating their 120/128 layer 3D NAND technologies, aiming for volume production as early as 2020. Even as SK Hynix has begun sampling its 96-layer 4D NAND flash in March, Toshiba and Western Digital already had plans to introduce 128-layer technology, built on a TLC (Triple Level Cell) process technology so as to increase density while avoiding yield issues present with current QLC (Quad Level Cell) implementations.

The decision to accelerate deployment of the next generation of NAND comes from the fact that the market still faces an oversupply of NAND flash, mostly driven by the mature process of 64-layer NAND technology. With new technologies, higher ASPs and lower production scales are sustainable, which should enable supply to reduce enough so as to increase pricing of NAND-based technologies - and allow manufacturers to somewhat reset asking prices for new NAND chips.

KLEVV Shows Off New Flash Drives, SSDs and Memory with Copious Amounts of RGB

KLEVV at its Computex 2019 booth unveiled a new line of high-performance USB flash drives. It also brought along its latest variants of CRAS series M.2 NVMe SSDs and DDR4 memory, which come with a dazzling/blinding (take your pick) amount of RGB LED embellishment. We begin with the Portable Ghost, branded as a "portable SSD" and not a flash-drive. This is because the USB 3.1 gen 2 type-C connection pulls a PCIe/NVMe internal SSD. When plugged into a PC or a USB charger, the drive can also work as a wireless drive to your other devices over Bluetooth 4.2. The drive comes in two variants based on capacity, which significantly differ in hardware. The 240 GB variant is pulled by a JMicron JM5583 controller, while the 480 GB variant has a Silicon Motion SM2263EN. Both models use 72-layer 3D TLC NAND flash, and have the same on-paper performance figures, with up to 1,250 MB/s reads/writes. The drive isn't without two RGB LED diffusers.

The Blu RC30 is another fascinating, albeit slower drive, that's properly marketed as a flash drive. Built in the conventional 2-piece capped form-factor, the drive features a USB 3.1 gen 1 (5 Gbps) type-A connection. An internal battery which soaks up power when plugged in, lets the drive function wireless over Bluetooth 4.2, and also be used as a wireless presentation tool (a clicker), with capacitive touch surface and a couple of buttons, which imitate a mouse. Built in capacities of 32 GB, 64 GB, and 128 GB, the Blu RC30 offers sequential transfer-rates of up to 250 MB/s reads on all three models, and write-speeds rated at 40 MB/s for the 32 GB model, 50 MB/s for 64 GB, and 90 MB/s for the 128 GB model. Transfer rates are severely throttled in wireless mode. We then moved on to its SSD and memory products.

ADATA Unveils its M.2 PCIe Gen4 SSD: Ready for AMD X570

It looks like SSDs will beat graphics cards to utilizing (and benefiting) from the bandwidth of PCI-Express gen 4.0 bus. AMD X570 platform motherboards offer 2-3 M.2 slots with PCIe gen 4.0 x4 wiring (64 Gbps). Corsair formally launched the MP600, and now ADATA joins the party with its unnamed drive. Based on the Silicon Motion SM2267 controller, the drive comes in an unbelievable capacity of up to 8 TB, probably using 96-layer QLC NAND flash.

The controller features DRAM cache, and dynamic SLC caching (all of the NAND flash is treated as SLC until storage demands force portions of them to be treated as MLC, TLC, and eventually QLC). It takes advantage of NVMe 1.3 protocol. As for performance, ADATA claims sequential speeds of up to 4000 MB/s reads. Such speeds were impossible of PCIe gen 3.0 x4 due to various overheads. Sequential writes are still up to 3000 MB/s. 4K random read/write access is rated at 400k IOPS. The company didn't reveal availability details.

Toshiba and Western Digital to Jointly Invest in Flash Manufacturing Facility in Kitakami, Japan

Toshiba Memory Corporation and Western Digital Corp. have finalized a formal agreement to jointly invest in the "K1" manufacturing facility that Toshiba Memory is currently constructing in Kitakami, Iwate Prefecture, Japan. The K1 facility will produce 3D flash memory to support growing demand for storage in applications such as data centers, smartphones and autonomous cars. Construction of the K1 facility is expected to be completed in the fall of calendar 2019. The companies' joint capital investments in equipment for the K1 facility will enable initial production output of 96-layer 3D flash memory beginning in calendar 2020, with meaningful output expected to begin later in the year.

Toshiba Memory and Western Digital will continue to cultivate and extend their leadership in their respective memory businesses by actively developing initiatives aimed at strengthening technology competitiveness, advancing joint development of 3D flash memory, and making capital investments according to market trends.

Intel to Move 3D XPoint Memory Manufacturing to China

With its IMFlash Technology joint-venture with Micron coming to an end, Intel is finding itself with manufacturing challenges for its memory businesses. The company holds IP to both 3D NAND flash and its own invention 3D XPoint memory, which it believes will succeed NAND flash in performance and endurance. The company is now mulling to move manufacturing of 3D XPoint to a foundry in China. Intel currently manufactures this exotic new memory at an IMFlash Technology facility in Utah. Intel's $1.3 billion stake-sale to Micron pushes it out of this facility.

Under the terms of the stake-sale, Micron allows Intel to continue to manufacture 3D XPoint at IMFlash for a year, after which it must manufacture it elsewhere. The transfer of stake is scheduled for October 31st, which means Intel's manufacturing in Utah will continue till October 2020. In the meantime, Intel is planning to move manufacturing to its Fab 68, located in Dalian, China. Intel is now manufacturing 1st and 2nd generation 3D Xpoint, while its 3rd generation is under development, and was earlier slated for initial manufacturing at Intel's Fab 11X in New Mexico, USA. It's not known if Intel has changed these plans. 3rd generation 3D XPoint hits mass-production in 2021.

Western Digital Announces Automotive-grade iNAND EM132 eMMC Storage

Western Digital Corp. is addressing the automotive industry's increasing need for storage by equipping vehicle manufacturers and system solution providers with the technology and capacity to support both current and future applications including e-cockpits, Artificial Intelligence (AI) databases, ADAS, advanced infotainment systems, and autonomous computers. As the first 256GB e.MMC using 64-Layer 3D NAND TLC flash technology in the automotive market, the new Western Digital iNAND AT EM132 EFD extends the life of e.MMC beyond 2D NAND to meet evolving application needs and growing capacity requirements.

According to Neil Shah, partner and research director, Counterpoint Research, "Storage is one of the fastest growing semiconductor applications in a connected autonomous car. The advanced in-vehicle infotainment (IVI), AI and sensor-driven autonomous driving systems generate large amounts of data that needs to be processed and stored locally at the edge. The average capacity of storage required per vehicle is expected to balloon beyond 2TB by 2022."

Team Group Releases T-Force T1 and Vulcan Z Memory, and Vulcan SSD

Today Team Group releases three new products from the T-FORCE gaming series: T-FORCE T1 gaming memory, T-FORCE VULCAN Z gaming memory and T-FORCE VULCAN high speed gaming solid state drive. T-FORCE T1 gaming memory's unique look is specially designed for entry gamers. T-FORCE VULCAN Z gaming memory's cooling performance has fully evolved to perfectly protect the memory. T-FORCE VULCAN high speed gaming solid state drive has focused on overall details and offering large capacity and high speed read/write performance at the same time. All three products have inherited the unique and classic design of T-FORCE gaming series, which makes building your own pc cooler than ever.

T-FORCE T1 gaming memory's impressive racing style is specially designed for entry gamers. Created using exclusive patented color printing and special ink, the racing design enhances the overall style of the DIY PC. The selected high-quality IC chips are exceptional in durability, stability and compatibility, allowing gamers to have excellent combat status on the battlefield of eSports. T-FORCE T1 gaming memory supports both Intel & AMD platform. Plug & play allows gamers to be ready for battles at any time.

Samsung Profits Tank as DRAM, NAND Flash, and SoC Prices Slump

Samsung Electronics Q1-2019 preliminary reads like a horror story to investors, as the company posted its worst drop in operating-profit in over four years. Operating income fell 60 percent in the quarter ending March 2019, to about USD $5.5 billion, beating Bloomberg analysts who had predicted a 56 percent drop. Sluggish sales to IoT major Amazon, smartphone major Apple, and other handset makers, compounded by swelling inventory in the supply chain, has triggered sharp drops in DRAM prices that were offsetting critically low NAND flash prices. Demand for Samsung SoCs (application processors) is also on the decline.

Samsung is betting heavily on the success of its Galaxy S10 family of smartphones to recover from losses faced in the three component markets. Prices of DRAM prices fell 22 percent YoY, and NAND flash continues to slide by roughly that much, at 23 percent. NAND flash prices have been on a continuous decline over the past 3 years. DRAM prices, on the other hand, rallied in that period, and it's only now that it posted its first price-drop since 2016. NAND flash prices are expected to slide further down, as oversupply and failure of newer technologies like QLC taking off, hurt NAND flash manufacturers.

Micron Unveils 2200 Client-segment SSD, Ditches SMI for In-house Controller

Micron has curiously been releasing client-segment SSDs these recent weeks. The company's main brand was focused on enterprise products, while subsidiary brands Crucial and Ballistix catered to the client-segment. Following up on its late-February launch of the 1300-series client-segment SSDs, Micron unveiled the even faster 2200-series. These drives ditch Silicon Motion-sourced controllers in favor of a new controller Micron designed in-house. Built in the M.2-2280 form-factor with PCI-Express 3.0 x4 interface, taking advantage of the NVMe protocol. This in-house controller is mated with Micron's 64-layer 3D TLC NAND flash, cushioned by its own LPDDR4 DRAM cache.

Available in capacities of 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB, the Micron 2200 is rated to offer sequential transfer rates of up to 3000 MB/s reads, with up to 1600 MB/s writes, up to 240,000 IOPS 4K random reads, and up to 210,000 IOPS 4K random writes, with an endurance rating of 75 TB, 150 TB, and 300 TB, for the 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB variants, respectively. Micron-exclusive features also make their way, such as native power-loss data-protection, and TCG Opal SED. The company hasn't revealed pricing or availability for these drives.

Toshiba and Western Digital Readying 128-layer 3D NAND Flash

Toshiba and its strategic ally Western Digital are readying a high-density 128-layer 3D NAND flash memory. In Toshiba's nomenclature, the chip will be named BiCS-5. Interestingly, despite the spatial density, the chip will implement TLC (3 bits per cell), and not the newer QLC (4 bits per cell). This is probably because NAND flash makers are still spooked about the low yields of QLC chips. Regardless, the chip has a data density of 512 Gb. With 33% more capacity than 96-layer chips, the new 128-layer chips could hit commercial production in 2020-21.

The BiCS-5 chip reportedly features a 4-plane design. Its die is divided into four sections, or planes, which can each be independently accessed; as opposed to BiCS-4 chips that use a 2-plane layout. This reportedly doubles the write performance per unit-channel to 132 MB/s from 66 MB/s. The die also reportedly uses CuA (circuitry under array), a design innovation in which logic circuitry is located in the bottom-most "layer," with data layers stacked above, resulting in 15 percent die-size savings. Aaron Rakers, a high-technology industry market analyst with Wells Fargo, estimates that Toshiba-WD's yields per 300 mm wafer could be as high as 85 percent.

2019 the Year of 1TB SSDs: Prices Fall by 50%

1-Terabyte SSDs could become a new mainstream-desktop must-have in 2019, as prices of the drives have fallen by 50 percent year-over-year, according to DigiTimes. A 1 TB SATA SSD in the 2.5-inch form-factor can now be had for as little as $99, while faster NVMe drives in the M.2 form-factor start around $130. At the beginning of 2018, 1 TB SATA SSDs used to start around the $160-mark, and NVMe drives north of $200. The 1 TB category includes 960 GB, 1000 GB, and 1024 GB marketed capacities with varying amounts of overprovisioning set by manufacturers.

Falling SSD prices are accelerated by the entry of cost-effective 96-layer 3D NAND flash, higher-density QLC NAND flash, undigested inventories of drives based on older technologies such as 64-layer or TLC NAND flash; and a 15 percent sequential quarterly drop in NAND flash prices in the industry. Growth in speeds of client-segment SSDs have remained largely flat over the year, and not much is to be expected in performance growth other than perhaps the advent of PCIe gen 4.0 based enterprise SSDs towards the end of the year.

Samsung Launches Industry's First 1TB Embedded Universal Flash Storage

Samsung Electronics, the world leader in advanced memory technology, today announced that it has begun mass producing the industry's first one-terabyte (TB) embedded Universal Flash Storage (eUFS) 2.1, for use in next-generation mobile applications. Just four years after introducing the first UFS solution, the 128-gigabyte (GB) eUFS, Samsung has passed the much-anticipated terabyte threshold in smartphone storage. Smartphone enthusiasts will soon be able to enjoy storage capacity comparable to a premium notebook PC, without having to pair their phones with additional memory cards.

"The 1 TB eUFS is expected to play a critical role in bringing a more notebook-like user experience to the next generation of mobile devices," said Cheol Choi, executive vice president of Memory Sales & Marketing at Samsung Electronics. "What's more, Samsung is committed to assuring the most reliable supply chain and adequate production quantities to support the timely launches of upcoming flagship smartphones in accelerating growth of the global mobile market."
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