Micron Technology, Inc. announced that it has begun volume shipments of the world’s first 176-layer 3D NAND flash memory — achieving unprecedented density and performance. Together, Micron’s new 176-layer technology and advanced architecture represent a radical breakthrough, enabling immense gains in application performance across a range of storage use cases spanning data center, intelligent edge, and mobile devices.
“Micron’s 176-layer NAND sets a new bar for the industry, with a layer count that is almost 40% higher than our nearest competitor’s,” said Scott DeBoer, executive VP of technology and products at Micron. “Combined with Micron’s CMOS-under-array architecture, this technology sustains Micron’s industry cost leadership.”
Representing Micron’s fifth generation of 3D NAND and second-generation replacement-gate architecture, the 176-layer NAND is the most technologically advanced NAND node in the market. Compared with the company’s previous generation of high-volume 3D NAND, Micron’s 176-layer NAND improves both read latency and write latency by more than 35% — dramatically accelerating application performance.
Its compact design is ideal for solutions using small form factors and features approximately 30% smaller die size than best-in-class competitive offerings.
“Micron’s 176-layer NAND enables breakthrough product innovation for our customers,” said Sumit Sadana, executive VP and chief business officer at Micron. “We are deploying this technology across our broad product portfolio to bring value everywhere NAND is used, targeting growth opportunities in 5G, AI, cloud, and the intelligent edge.”
With its versatile design and unrivaled density, it serves as an essential building block in technologists’ toolboxes across a broad array of sectors, including mobile storage, autonomous systems, in-vehicle infotainment, and client and data center solid-state drives (SSDs).
Micron’s 176-layer NAND offers improved quality of service (QoS2), a critical design criterion for data center SSDs.3 This can accelerate data-intensive environments and workloads such as data lakes, artificial intelligence (AI) engines, and big data analytics. For 5G smartphones, the enhanced QoS can enable faster launching and switching across multiple apps, creating a more seamless and responsive mobile experience and enabling true multitasking and full use of 5G’s low-latency network.
Micron’s fifth generation of 3D NAND also features a maximum data-transfer rate at 1,600 mega-transfers per second (MT/s) on the Open NAND Flash Interface (ONFI) bus, a 33% improvement. The increased ONFI speed leads to faster system boot-up and application performance. In automotive applications, this speed will power near instant-on response times for in-vehicle systems as soon as engines are turned on, enhancing the user experience.
Micron is working with industry developers to quickly integrate the new products into solutions. To simplify firmware development, Micron’s 176-layer NAND offers a single-pass programming algorithm, enabling easier integration and speeding time to market.
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