Ultra-Fast SSDs Coming: 2400 MT/s NAND in Mass Production

(Image credit: YMTC)

YMTC has begun shipments of its Zhitai TiPlus7100 SSDs based on its latest 232-layer 3D NAND Xtacking 3.0 memory with a 2400 MT/s interface, ITHome reports. This confirms that YMTC's latest 3D NAND memory — which is required to produce SSDs with a PCIe 5.0 x4 interface that fully saturate this interface and hit a 12.4 GB/s sequential read speed — is now in mass production.  

YMTC's Zhitai TiPlus7100 are M.2-2280 PCIe 4.0 x4 drives designed to combine affordability with strong performance. The SSDs are to be available in 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB versions with the speediest rated for a sequential read speed of up to 7000 MB/s as well as a sequential write speed of up to 6000 MB/s. 

When it comes to random performance, then 1TB and 2TB models are set to offer up to 900K random read IOPS as well as up to 700K random write IOPS. The TiPlus7100 drives do not carry any SDRAM buffer and uses a host memory buffer, which is an indicator that we are dealing with a reasonably priced product. Meanwhile, these drives can easily challenge the best SSDs available today. 

Swipe to scroll horizontally
InterfacePCIe 4.0 x4, NVMe 1.4PCIe 4.0 x4, NVMe 1.4PCIe 4.0 x4, NVMe 1.4
Sequential Read Speed7000 MB/s7000 MB/s7000 MB/s
Sequential Write Speed3600 MB/s6000 MB/s6000 MB/s
Random Read (4K)800K IOPS900K IOPS900K IOPS
Random Write (4K)600K IOPS700K IOPS700K IOPS
MTBF1.5M hours1.5M hours1.5M hours
Durability300 TBW600 TBW1200 TBW
Warranty5 years5 years5 years

YMTC does not disclose what controller it uses for its Zhitai TiPlus7100 SSDs, but the main point about these drives for us is that they use the company's 1Tb X3-9070 chips — 232-layer six-plane 3D TLC NAND memory devices with a 2400 MT/s interface and the company's proprietary Xtacking 3.0 architecture.  

The 1Tb X3-9070 device not only boasts a bit density of 15.03 Gb/mm^2 (as revealed by TechInsights), which by far exceeds the bit density of 1Tb 3D TLC NAND memory ICs with less than 200 layers, but it also features an ultra-fast 2400 MT/s interface.

Earlier this week, Micron introduced its Micron 2550 drives based on its 232-layer six-plane 3D TLC NAND devices that is said to have a 14.6 Gb/mm^2 bit density, which outstrips YMTC's 232-layer 3D TLC ICs in terms of bit density. Meanwhile, Micron's ICs currently shipped have a 1600 MT/s interface, which is good enough for mainstream drives, but not good enough for ultra-high-performance SSDs with a PCIe 5.0 x4 interface.  

Swipe to scroll horizontally
NAND Layer Counts
Row 0 - Cell 0 YMTCMicronSamsungWD/KioxiaSK hynixYMTC
Shipping Now232-Layer232-Layer128-Layer162-Layer176-Layer128-Layer
Density per square mm15.03 Gb mm^214.6 Gb mm^26.91 Gb mm^210.4 Gb mm^210.8 Gb mm^28.48 Gb mm^2
Die Capacity1 Tb1 Tb512 Gb1 Tb512 Gb512 Gb
Next-Gen (release date)??3xx (unknown)212 (unknown)238-Layer (2023)196-Layer (2H, 2022)

Therefore, while YMTC is not the only company to mass produce 3D NAND with over 200 layers, it is the first company that is mass-producing memory with a 2400 MT/s I/O. This is not going to last long though as Micron plans in initiate production of 232-layer 3D NAND with a 2400 MT/s interface in early 2023.

Anton Shilov
Contributing Writer

Anton Shilov is a contributing writer at Tom’s Hardware. Over the past couple of decades, he has covered everything from CPUs and GPUs to supercomputers and from modern process technologies and latest fab tools to high-tech industry trends.

  • DavidLejdar
    Nice that SSDs with PCIe 5.0 x4 interface are on the way. Not surprised if it still may take a bit of time though, in particular as many do not have a mainboard fully supportive of it (so far). On the other hand, the interest may increase, thanks to DirectStorage, and arguably some laptop manufacturers may be very interested to have their top tier models with PCIe 5.0 SSD.

    And then there is also the thing about that GPUs can still grow in performance (i.e. the RTX 4090 is built on the 4nm process, while 3 nm is starting to be a thing now), possibly requiring a PCIe 5.0 interface / mainboard for full performance in the near future. Something which isn't bound to be that cheap at start to become mainstream of course. And then there is also the issue that gaming consoles run at around 200W for 4K gaming (upscaled), which is a bit of a problem for the PC market when 4K means running a rig at 800W and upwards. But that can also mean that many gamers will take a closer look at what other components to upgrade for better performance, such as the CPU and also new mainboard, and while at it, may as well go straight for one with PCIe 5.0 for SSD.
    Never heard of the brand. Longevity would be a concern.
  • gadget whisperer
    sycoreaper said:
    Never heard of the brand. Longevity would be a concern.

    YMTC is actually big enough to the point apple is in process of finalising the certification to use it for their iPhone storage. Until US political movement stop it.
  • Co BIY
    Would be interested in seeing this tested.

    Strange that many have not heard much of it but it is now putting out a leading edge product "Tiplus 3.0".

    Was Ti 2.0 good?
  • Soul_keeper
    "Founded in Wuhan, China in 2016 with government investment and a goal of reducing the country's dependence on foreign chip manufacturers, the company was formerly a subsidiary of partially state-owned enterprise Tsinghua Unigroup." --wikipedia

    Personally, i'd rather spend my $ on Micron.
  • hotaru251
    DavidLejdar said:
    thanks to DirectStorage
    still need a real example to see if theres any meaningful benefit of gen 4 vs gen 5 speeds.

    only example we really have is 1 game and its too small to be of any use as a example of benefit.
  • KraakBal
    Super lame. IOPS is like half the 990 pro and bros. That all that should matter at this point. Unless you need copying many big files, on such an ssd
  • cyrusfox
    YMTC NAND, I am really curious to see the power figures, I would expect them to be far behind in efficiency at idle(Compared to Samsung, Hynix, Solidigm, Kioxia, & Micron), but for a gen 5 drive, no one should care about that, only top speed and raw random IO. They are the only NAND manufacturer doing wafer stacking, which I would think comes with an inherrent power penalty but I could be wrong.