We've known about Samsung's plans to pack three bits per cell into its 3D V-NAND since the company's SSD Global Summit in July. A few more details about the technology trickled out during the Flash Memory Summit in August, including the fact that TLC V-NAND will power an upcoming 850 EVO SSD. That drive must be close, because Samsung has started mass-producing 3D V-NAND with an extra bit per cell.
The capacity of the TLC dies is 128Gb, or 16GB, which matches Samsung's last generation of three-bit planar NAND. There's no word on the die area, but the 32-layer V-NAND is claimed to have "doubled wafer productivity" versus its planar counterpart. Those planar chips have a single layer built on 19-nm tech, while the latest 3D stuff stacks 32 layers fabbed on larger a 40-nm process.
Although the press release doesn't mention the 850 EVO by name, senior VP Jaesoon Han teases "a whole new line of high density SSDs that is both performance- and value-driven." The 16GB V-NAND dies should enable Samsung to offer drives up to 1TB, just like it does with the 840 EVO.
The 840 EVO is currently hampered by an issue that slows read speeds on old data, but Samsung is prepping a firmware fix that resolves the problem. That fix is expected soon, and it looks like the EVO's successor probably isn't far behind. Samsung will have to put all those TLC V-NAND chips into something.