Kioxia 7-Layer Flash Illustration

Kioxia Researchers Demo Hepta-Level Cell NAND Flash, Nearly Doubling the Capacity of QLC

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NAND researchers at Kioxia have successfully demonstrated a working concept of a new storage architecture called Hepta-level cell NAND flash. This new type of NAND can house up to 7 bits per cell, giving it nearly twice the storage capacity of QLC NAND flash. If Kioxia can stabilize this storage architecture at room temperature, it might become the ultimate successor to spinning hard drives in consumer and enterprise applications.

To create hepta-level NAND flash, Kioxia is using a new design called new silicon process technology to increase cell density, in conjunction with cryogenic cooling. New silicon process technology replaces current poly-silicon materials with a single-crystal silicon that is used in a channel inside a memory cell transistor. This apparently reduces the amount of read noise coming from the NAND flash by up to two-thirds. In other words, new silicon process technology produces clearer read signals for reading data off of the NAND flash, enough so to increase the bits cell capacity to 7.

(Image credit: Kioxia)

Kioxia says this new storage architecture will also be significantly cheaper to produce, and even has a proposed solution incorporating hepta-level flash with cryogenic cooling. That would be cheaper than current (air-cooled or passively cooled) SSDs on the market today.

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