SK hynix has developed a new 4D NAND flash with a massive 238 layers, paving the way for fast and spacious new SSDsthe company has announced.
Unveiled onstage at Flash Memory Summit in Santa Clara, the new memory chip is described as the “world’s first 238-layer 512Gb TLC 4D NAND” and is expected to go into mass production in the first half of 2023.
Compared to the previous 176-layer model, the new NAND would offer 50% faster data transfer rates (at 2.4 Gb/sec), 21% more power efficiency for reading data and a 34% increase in overall productivity.
With the arrival of the 238-layer product, SK hynix will snatch the record for the world’s tallest NAND stack from rival manufacturer Micron, whose latest model has a whopping 232 layers.
238-layer 4D NAND flash
NAND flash is a type of non-volatile memory used in all kinds of storage devices, from reminder cards, USB sticks and portable drives to SSDs for servers and client devices.
The general trend in NAND flash development is towards a reduction in cost per capacity and an increase in storage density, leaving the last remaining use cases for traditional hard disks. The arrival of the 238-layer product from SK hynix marks a new step in this journey.
Unlike other NAND products on the market, the latest chips in the company’s lineup have a “4D” architecture, with the logic circuits placed below the storage cells. SK hynix says this design allows for a “smaller cell area per unit, leading to higher production efficiency”.
“SK hynix secured the highest level of global competitiveness in terms of cost, performance and quality by introducing the 238-layer product based on its 4D NAND technologies,” said Jungdal Choi, Head of NAND Development at SK hynix.
Perhaps against the odds, the new 238-layer NAND will make its way to client devices first, giving content creators and PC gamers cause for excitement. Only later will the new chip appear smartphones and high capacity servers.
SK hynix also revealed that it is developing a 1Tb 238-layer product, which will double the storage density of the latest chip when it arrives next year. “We will continue to innovate to find breakthroughs in technological challenges,” Choi added.
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