Micron Now Shipping 176-Layer 3D TLC NAND Flash to Power to 96-Layer Flash

While we were just getting used to 96-Layer flash becoming commonplace and over 100-Layer flash from Samsung and SK hynix is just starting to enter the market, Micron announced its next-generation 176-layer substitute gate flash is now in volume production and shipping, setting a new excessive for layer counts.


Micron’s fifth-generation 3D TLC flash not only scales higher than its closest competitor’s choices, but the company claims its flash is also faster and offers the highest bit density yet.
Micron has shipped multiple generations of floating gate flash, however now that’s has split with Intel on the manufacturing entrance, the corporate is doubling down on its second iteration of cost trap technology. Micron pairs that approach with its replacement gate (RG) tech, which uses highly-conductive metal wordlines instead of a silicon layer, for its next generations of flash.

Before this, Western Digital’s/Kioxia’s 112L, Samsung’s 1xxL, and SK hynix’s 128L TLC broke the 100-layer barrier, but none have scaled quite as high as Micron’s new flash. The relatively new substitute gate architecture gives up improved speed, endurance, and efficiency with 176 layers.

Micron stacks two 88-layer decks to attain such heights, similar to how it has done so with previous nodes; nonetheless, that doesn’t imply its physical height has increased. Surprisingly, whereas the substitute gate flash scales to new heights at almost triple the layer rely of the company’s older 64-Layer (64L) floating gate flash, it has the same height – just one fifth the thickness of a piece of paper, which is roughly 45 μm (microns) thick after wafer thinning.


Micron’s previous-gen 96L and 128L flash could only operate at up to 1,200 MTps, however, its new 176L flash is faster, reaching up to 1,600 MTps over the ONFI interface. This results in a 35% enhancement to read and write latency over the company’s floating gate 96L TLC, and it’s 25% quicker than its 128L replacement gate TLC. The corporate also noted a 15% increase in mixed performance over its 96L UFS 3.1 modules.

Yes, we’ve got noticed the lack of 128L RG products in the market, but the firm says it was simply a transitory node and that the brand new second-gen substitute gate NAND may have a a lot faster tempo to market. As such, the company is banking on its new 176L NAND for a better return on investment.

As a matter of truth, the news flash is transporting in Crucial merchandise now. The corporate didn’t specify which models, but Crucial’s P5 looks like a prime candidate for the update based on our overview samples’ outcomes. Retail client products aren’t the only target market for the company’s new flash. The company markets the flash for the 5G and data center markets, with the latter to accelerate AI and big data analytics.


The new flash is shipping in volume with 512Gb die capacities and NAND packages stacked with as many as 16 dies per package. Perhaps most astonishing, not only does Micron’s flash have the highest layer rely in the business, but thanks to the company’s CuA techniques, it also boasts the greatest bit density. Micron notes that its new 176L substitute gate flash gives a 30% smaller die size compared to the trade’s best in class, which we believe refers to SK hynix’s 128L TLC.