SK Hynix breaks Microns record and introduces the tallest flash

SK Hynix breaks Micron’s record and introduces the “tallest” flash memory in the world – 238 layers

SK Hynix company hit today a record recently set by Micron. A week earlier, Micron announced the start of shipments of the world’s most multi-layered 3D NAND memory – 232-layer crystals. Today, SK hynix takes the lead by announcing the start of sample shipments of the 238-layer 4D NAND memory. The new crystals in a smaller area have higher recording density, lower average consumption and improved performance.

    Image source: SK Hynix

Image source: SKhynix

It’s not hard to imagine that SK hynix, like its competitor Micron, will get chips with more than 230 layers by stacking 128-layer dies. When “looping in” some of the layers are lost or wasted, which does not allow to achieve the ideal in the form of 256-layer 3D NAND chips, but no one tries to strive for it. Micron was able to reliably produce 232-layer chips, and SK hynix achieved a slightly better result – producing 238-layer chips. At the same time, it certainly required the use of all the company’s technological capabilities to achieve even such a small advantage.

Mass production of the presented new products will begin in the first half of 2023. The company will be the first to market 512Gb chips with a record three bits per cell (TLC). Production of 1 Tbit 4D NAND chips is to start later. Remember that 4D NAND is the marketing name for traditional 3D NAND memory with some improvements such as B. moving the logic to a cell array (PUC technology) and moving to a charge trap cell instead of using a floating gate cell, which at least reduces the leakage currents.

According to the company, the reduction in chip size enabled a 34 percent increase in chip performance per silicon wafer compared to a 176-layer memory. At the same time, the data transfer rate increased by 50% or up to 2.4 Gb/s compared to similar products of the previous generation. Energy consumption to read data has decreased by 21%, also in line with the company’s commitment to meeting the demands of the “green” agenda.

The first products with the new memory will be SSDs for PCs and laptops. Then 238-layer 4D NAND SK Hynix will find its way into smartphones and server drives.

About the author

Dylan Harris

Dylan Harris is fascinated by tests and reviews of computer hardware.

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