Chipmaking rivals and sometime partners Intel Corp. and Micron Technology Inc. said today they’ve begun the production and shipment of the latest generation of their jointly produced NAND flash memory chips for solid-state drives. The companies unveiled what they say are the industry’s first quad-level-cell or QLC NAND flash chips, sporting a 64-layer 3-D structure that allows them to achieve a terabit of density per die, the largest capacity on a flash chip so far. In addition, the companies said they’re working together on producing an even bigger chip, a 96-layer 3-D NAND that allows for even higher densities per die. Previous 3D NAND chips were based on triple-level-cell NAND and 3-D fabrication, so the move to quad-level cells, in which four bits of information can be stored on a single cell, is a significant increase in storage capacity per cell. The payoff is a slight reduction in write performance because programming the cells becomes more complex. The new chips also have slightly less endurance, the companies said. Intel said it will make an announcement regarding the launch of its new QLC NAND chips at the Flash Memory Summit taking place in Santa Clara, California, Aug. 6-9. Micron, on the other… Read full this story
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