Revolutionary 2Tb 3D QLC NAND flash reminiscence die teased by Western Digital

Why it issues: Western Digital dropped a bombshell throughout a current investor presentation. The storage large has teased the world’s first 2Tb 3D quad-level cell NAND flash reminiscence die. The chip dwarfs the competitors by way of density. While initially restricted to the information heart market, there is a good probability it will trickle all the way down to shopper PCs.

This minuscule chip packs 256GB of storage right into a single die utilizing WD’s cutting-edge Eighth-generation BiCS 3D NAND tech developed collectively with associate Kioxia. The manufacturing know-how permits WD to suit 218 layers in a single die, virtually twice the 112 layers most NAND flash reminiscence at present comes with. By comparability, mainstream 2TB SSDs sometimes have 16 x 128GB (1Tb) dies per package deal. With WD’s new chips, you get twice the capability – 2Tb (256GB) in the identical single-chip package deal.

Western Digital additionally claims its new QLC NAND affords spectacular efficiency good points. According to its stats, the I/O throughput is 50 p.c sooner than rival NAND, utilizing 13 p.c much less energy per GB written. On the density entrance, WD’s QLC die is 15-19 p.c denser than competing manufacturers.

The method WD is utilizing to attain that is intelligent. Instead of etching the entire chip in a single go, they fabricate the CMOS controller circuitry as one die, flip it, and join the stacked QLC NAND reminiscence layers utilizing hybrid bonding.

In the brief time period, WD goals to promote its high-density QLC packages within the information heart and AI coaching markets, which have an insatiable want for high-capacity storage. However, the tech will inevitably trickle all the way down to desktop SSDs earlier than lengthy.

Of course, QLC NAND does have some drawbacks in comparison with higher-grade TLC and MLC NAND. Write endurance is decrease, and efficiency could be inconsistent, particularly below heavy workloads. However, WD claims to have improved QLC endurance by 60 p.c in comparison with prior generations whereas additionally boosting latency and throughput consistency.

Western Digital has but to expose full architectural particulars in regards to the 2Tb die, akin to interface speeds, variety of planes, latency figures, and so forth. Still, given the concentrate on AI/information heart use circumstances that demand excessive throughputs, we will count on first rate random I/O efficiency.

The storage large is not any stranger to innovation. In April, WD unveiled a 30-pound package deal providing 368TB of NVMe flash storage. It was distinctive as a result of it got here with a carrying case to offer dependable storage in difficult environments.

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