Samsung has delivered another salvo in the race to ever-increasing NAND flash density and performance. The company has begun mass production of its fifth-generation V-NAND memory with “over 90” (likely 96) layers per die.
Samsung claims this new V-NAND is the industry's first to use the Toggle DDR 4.0 interface standard, allowing for transfer speeds of 1.4 Gbps. Samsung says this rate is up 40% over 64-layer V-NAND. The company also says that data write speeds are down to 500 microseconds, or a 30% improvement over 64-layer V-NAND, while read response time is “significantly reduced to 50 microseconds.”
Even with this NAND's higher transfer rates and improved performance characteristics, Samsung says the power consumption of fifth-generation V-NAND should remain similar to that of the 64-layer stuff. Operating voltage has fallen from 1.8 V to 1.2 V.
Despite the increased complexity of these dies, Samsung says manufacturing productivity (yield) is 30% better thanks to improved deposition techniques. That manufacturing tech also allowed the company to shrink the cell layer height of the V-NAND structure by 20%.
The initial device to use this 96-layer V-NAND is a 256-Gb (32-GB) die. Samsung says its plans for the memory also include quad-level-cell and 1-Tb dies. The company says it will be rapidly ramping fifth-generation V-NAND production to supply customers in supercomputing, data center, and smartphone applications.