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Intel, Micron First to Triple Level Cell 25nm NAND

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 41 comments

Triple level cell... what does it mean?

Intel and Micron have announced the delivery of 3-bit-per-cell (3bpc, or TLC for triple-level-cell) NAND flash memory on 25-nanometer process technology, which it claims to be the industry’s highest capacity, smallest NAND device. Traditionally, NAND stores one bit (single-level cell) or two bits (multi-level cell).

The new 64-gigabit (Gb) 3bpc on 25nm memory device offers improved cost and higher storage capacity for USB, SD (Secure Digital) flash card and other consumer electronics

The device is more than 20 percent smaller than the same capacity of Intel and Micron’s 25nm MLC, which is currently the smallest single 8GB device in production today. Small form-factor flash memory is especially important for consumer end-product flash cards given their intrinsic compact design. The die measures 131mm2 and comes in an industry-standard TSOP package.

“With January’s introduction of the industry’s smallest die size at 25nm, quickly followed by the move to 3-bit-per-cell on 25nm, we continue to gain momentum and offer customers a compelling set of leadership products,” said Tom Rampone, Intel vice president and general manager of Intel NAND Solutions Group. “Intel plans to use the design and manufacturing leadership of IMFT to deliver higher-density, cost-competitive products to our customers based on the new 8GB TLC 25nm NAND device.”

The companies have sent initial product samples to select customers. Intel and Micron expect to be in full production by the end of the year.

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Top Comments
  • 26 Hide
    Tamz_msc , August 18, 2010 3:11 PM
    I hope it lowers the prices of SSDs.
  • 19 Hide
    pocketdrummer , August 18, 2010 3:32 PM
    Wake me up when 500+Gb SSDs are affordable...
  • 16 Hide
    Anonymous , August 18, 2010 3:46 PM
    SLC = ultra fast and simple
    MLC with 2 bits/cell = slow, with lots of disadvantages and complicated controllers.
    MLC with 3 bits/cell = ???

    Super large SSD drives, sure, but will they be slower than today's MLC drives ?
Other Comments
  • 10 Hide
    El_Capitan , August 18, 2010 3:09 PM
    I want some TLC!
  • 26 Hide
    Tamz_msc , August 18, 2010 3:11 PM
    I hope it lowers the prices of SSDs.
  • 10 Hide
    mavroxur , August 18, 2010 3:19 PM
    Very impressive. Hopefully this will lead to larger, cheaper SSD's, as well as more integrated storage in mobile devices.
  • 8 Hide
    irh_1974 , August 18, 2010 3:22 PM
    Expect SSDs to increase in capacity in line with HDDs sooner rather than later.
    I want a 2Tb SSD!
  • 2 Hide
    cscott_it , August 18, 2010 3:23 PM
    It means that 600GB consumer SSDs are just around the corner. Take a look at some of Intel's leaked roadmaps.
  • 19 Hide
    pocketdrummer , August 18, 2010 3:32 PM
    Wake me up when 500+Gb SSDs are affordable...
  • 16 Hide
    Anonymous , August 18, 2010 3:46 PM
    SLC = ultra fast and simple
    MLC with 2 bits/cell = slow, with lots of disadvantages and complicated controllers.
    MLC with 3 bits/cell = ???

    Super large SSD drives, sure, but will they be slower than today's MLC drives ?
  • 1 Hide
    willgart , August 18, 2010 3:47 PM
    Relax guys... the TLC technology reduce the write speed and the endurance.
    I just read an article:
    in 2009 Micron says: TLC is 2 times slower and 10 times less endurance. (I don't know if its compared to SLC or MLC)
  • 1 Hide
    meat81 , August 18, 2010 4:00 PM
    what is the expected lifetime for these drives.
  • -3 Hide
    mrecio , August 18, 2010 4:11 PM
    Wow they seem to be pushing SSD tech much harder and faster then they ever did with standard hard drives. This is a good thing but probably does add to the cost some of all SSD's after all got to pay the RnD department! but yea get me a 500GB SSD for 100-150 and then ill accept it as mainstream tech.
  • 1 Hide
    mikem_90 , August 18, 2010 4:27 PM
    Just the design of putting more eggs in one basket by putting 3 bits per cell means each cell will get written to theoretically more. In practice you never write one bit. Not sure if SSD optimization tech does anything for eliminating unnecessary write operations to cells if the cell contains the same value.

    I'll keep my wallet closed till we see what this actually does. Intel has in the past been pretty good with SSDs, we'll see how they do this round once hardware is in a tester's hands.
  • 1 Hide
    lamorpa , August 18, 2010 4:34 PM
    At this point, physical size of the chip is irrelevant to anything it is put in. Smaller size means lower cost in the long run.
  • 0 Hide
    HavoCnMe , August 18, 2010 4:36 PM
    Like the Prices Right says..."TLC NAND come on down!" and bring the prices down with it.
  • 0 Hide
    borisof007 , August 18, 2010 4:39 PM
    Queue the "TLC" jokes
  • 0 Hide
    borisof007 , August 18, 2010 4:40 PM
    Er "cue"
  • -8 Hide
    eklipz330 , August 18, 2010 4:44 PM
    Quote:
    Triple level cell... what does it mean?


    IT'S SO VIVID AND BRIGHT!!

    OHHHHHHHHHH

    OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

    OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
  • 1 Hide
    willgart , August 18, 2010 4:52 PM
    not TLC... but SSD...
    http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1728590/sandisk-ssd-size-postage-stamp
    incredible!
  • 0 Hide
    Travis Beane , August 18, 2010 5:15 PM
    While slower then MLC, faster than a spinning platter (hopefully). :) 
    I wonder, when will the next gen of 1.8" and 2.5" of Intel SSD's come out, how much will they cost, and will they be available in SLC, MLC and TLC?
    Hopefully in the near future, your OS is on a 256GB SLC, while you have a 2TB TLC for storage, and tape drives for archiving (cheaper than a HDD per GB).
    ^_^
  • 0 Hide
    lamorpa , August 18, 2010 5:29 PM
    “With January’s introduction of the industry’s smallest die size at 25nm, quickly followed by the move to 3-bit-per-cell on 25nm, we continue to gain momentum and offer customers a compelling set of leadership products,”

    said Tom Rampone, in an attempt to win the award for putting the most words into a sentence, while conveying the least possible information...
  • 1 Hide
    bak0n , August 18, 2010 5:38 PM
    Why haven't they came out with a 3.5" form factor drive in masse? It would seen that it would be the most cost effective for price /performance, unless its just cheaper to mass produce the 2.5's?
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