Toshiba and SanDisc Develops World’s First 256Gb 48-Layer BiCS FLASH

/ 1 year ago


Last year Toshiba and SanDisc announced that they were collaborating on a new fab wafer plant exclusively for three-dimensional V-NAND flash wafers and that cooperation has just reaped great news for consumers. Yesterday both companies announced that they are manufacturing 256Gbit X3 48-layer 3D NAND flash chips and that is twice the capacity of the previous version.

These aren’t the first 48-layer 3D V-NAND chips as they were announced back in March, but these are the first 256Gb 3-bit-per-cell NAND; 32GB per chip. The new flash chips will be produced on a 15-nanometer lithography process technology and the resulting chips will be suitable for everything from consumer SSDs over smartphones and tablets to memory cards and enterprise SSDs.

Based on a vertical flash stacking technology that is dubbed BiCS (Bit Cost Scaling), the new flash memory stores three bits of data per transistor (TLC) instead of two (MLC) as the previous memory on the BiCS process used. The first products based on these new NAND flash chips should come around at the start of 2016, so the wait won’t be long.

Toshiba SanDisk BiCS NAND

Higher density and more reliability is something that we all can agree on and want in our drives, and any improvement in this area is more than welcome. It will be interesting to see how it stacks up against the competition of Samsung’s 3D NAND. We shouldn’t forget Intel’s and Micron’s recent announcement either. Either way, 2016 will be a great year for flash based storage.

“From day one, Toshiba’s strategy has been to extend our floating gate technology, which features the world’s smallest 15nm 128Gb die3 ,” noted Scott Nelson, senior vice president of TAEC’s Memory Business Unit. “Our announcement of BiCS FLASH, the industry’s first 48-layer 3D technology, is very significant in that we are enabling a competitive, smooth migration to 3D flash memory – to support the storage market’s demand for ever-increasing densities.”