President and Head of Memory Division of Samsung Electronics Jung-Bae Lee reported in its blog that the company will begin mass production of 9th generation 3D NAND memory with more than 300 layers in early 2024. This leads us to expect new and more capacious Samsung SSDs to hit the market by the end of 2024, whose recording density will continue to be the highest in the industry.
It is interesting to note that SK Hynix was the first company to announce its intention to overcome the 300-layer mark in 3D NAND memory. In August this year, it showed an example of a 321-layer 3D NAND at the Flash Memory Summit (FMS) 2023 event. Samsung doesn’t reveal details about its development, but promises that it will be the most multi-layered memory in the industry. It may even have fewer layers than SK Hynix, as rival Samsung won’t start producing its advanced memory until mid-2025.
Another difference between Samsung and SK Hynix 300 layer storage will be their layout. If SK Hynix intends to produce 321-layer chips in the form of a stack of three blocks mounted on top of each other, Samsung promises to introduce dual-stack structures. Each of the blocks is manufactured on a silicon substrate in its own cycle, and after cutting, finished chips are assembled from it in the form of stacked structures. Obviously, Samsung’s two-stack structures will be simpler, more reliable and possibly cheaper than SK Hynix’s three-stack structures. However, there is a caveat: each Samsung memory block has more layers, making it more difficult and expensive to manufacture.
In addition, the head of Samsung’s memory department said that the company’s specialists are working to improve the performance of future memories, and not just increase their capacity. Progress does not stand still and together with the new PCIe 5.0 interface, we may soon see more advanced SSDs from Samsung on offer.