Toshiba is stacking its 3D flash ever higher. In tandem with Western Digital (who now owns former Toshiba partner SanDisk), the company announced its third generation of BiCS flash chips today. These new TLC NAND devices maintain the same 256-gigabit capacity as their predecessors, but they stack those bits across 64 layers instead of the 48 in the last generation of BiCS flash. In time, the company expects to use this technology to deliver 512 gigabits (64GB) on a single chip.
On top of the expected density increase, stacking flash higher has other benefits. Toshiba says the technology reduces the cost per bit of flash and increases the amount of memory it can etch onto each wafer. Toshiba will make the new flash at its New Fab 2 facility in Yokkaichi, Japan. Samples of the new NAND are already on their way to manufacturers, and Toshiba expects mass production of BiCS 3 in the first half of next year.