American company Micron introduced the industry’s first 232-layer 3D NAND Flash memory chips. Mass production of new items based on TLC cells will begin in late 2022. The appearance of the first products on the new store is expected in 2023. Increased storage density promises lower power consumption, higher speeds, and lower costs, which will translate into either Micron’s profits or lower SSD prices.
To achieve a record number of layers, Micron used a previously tested technique – it placed one 3D NAND chip on top of another, electrically connecting them and placing them on a common base (substrate and controller). When splicing the crystals, some layers were inevitably lost, so two 128-layer crystals didn’t become a 256-layer 3D NAND chip, but a 232-layer chip, which isn’t bad either.
It should also be noted that Samsung introduced 256-layer 3D NAND back in 2020, but did not start mass production of such chips. Therefore, 176-layer flash memory chips that both Micron and Samsung launched in the second half of 2021 can be considered as previous record holders. It is also necessary to recall the Chinese company YMTC, in whose arsenal will appear 3D NAND with 192 layers.
Another advantage of the new Micron is the movement of the control electronics under the crystal with an array of cells. This is the CMOS under-array (CuA) technology that all 3D NAND manufacturers own more or less today. This allows you to reduce the area of \u200b\u200bthe memory chip and place even more microcircuits on each board.
Micron does not release detailed specifications for the 232-layer chips. It is known that the capacity of chips is 1 Tbit (128 GB) and, in general, they have become faster, which promises the advent of even more productive solid state drives.