l Advanced 3D NAND is ready to dominate SSDs, kill off traditional flash chips
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Category: news    |    Added: 2016-12-22 13:55:04    |    View: 119

Manufacturers are ramping up production of new 64-layer 3D NAND.

intel micron fabrication plant tour wet process

Intel is converting its fabrication plant in Dalian, China from producing processor chips to 3D NAND flash chips.

Credit: Intel
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"; IDG.GPT.defineGoogleTagSlot(slotName ,[[320,50],[300,250],[300,50]]); } placementDiff = applyInsert($(this), adDivString); if (DEBUG) { console.log("Just placed an ad and the placementDiff is: " + placementDiff); } placementTarget = cumulativeHeight + placementDiff + INTERMODULE_HEIGHT + AD_HEIGHT_BUFFER; } else if (moduleCounter < articleDRRModuleList.length){ var elementId = "drr-mod-"+moduleCounter; var moduleDivString = "
"; modules.push(elementId); placementDiff = applyInsert($(this), moduleDivString); if (DEBUG) { console.log("Just placed a module and the placementDiff is: " + placementDiff); } placementTarget = cumulativeHeight + placementDiff + INTERMODULE_HEIGHT + MODULE_HEIGHT_BUFFER; moduleCounter++; } loopCounter++; } // Avoid placing elements too soon due to non-large figures inflating the cumulative height if ($(this).is("figure") && !$(this).is("figure.large")) { cumulativeHeight += GRAF_HEIGHT; } else { cumulativeHeight += $(this).height() + GRAF_HEIGHT; } } }); // end $("#drr-container").children().each() // clone Related Stories module to come in after eighth para in article body for mobile breakpoint display var $relatedStories = $('.related-promo-wrapper'); if ($relatedStories.length) { var $relatedStoriesClone = $relatedStories.clone(); $relatedStoriesClone.insertAfter( "#drr-container > p:eq(7)"); } // For mobile only, place ad after second paragraph. if (firstMobileAdHtml) { $(firstMobileAdHtml).insertAfter("#drr-container > p:eq(1)"); } var $insiderPromo = $('.insider-promo-wrapper'); if ($insiderPromo.length) { var $insiderPromoClone = $insiderPromo.clone(); $insiderPromoClone.insertAfter( "#drr-container > p:eq(1)"); } IDG.GPT.trackOmniture(); // Add Right rail module content var placeModule = function( data ) { var placementId = $(data).attr("data-placement-id"); $( "#"+placementId ).html( data ); }; for (i=0; i" + adString + "
"; } /** * @param jqo Original jquery object target * @param divString The div to be inserted. * @return Difference in height between original placement target and final target. * Checks first 6 elements for an allowable placement (600 pixel window). * If none, place element in first location that does not follow a reject element. */ function applyInsert(jqo, divString) { if (DEBUG) { console.log("applyInsert at top and jqo index is: " + jqo.index()); } for (var i=0; i<=6; i++) { $thisElement = jqo.nextAll().andSelf().slice(i, i+1); if (DEBUG) { console.log("Checking first six and i is: " + i + " and this element index is " + $thisElement.index() ); } if ($thisElement.index() < 0) { break; } if (allowPlacement($thisElement)) { return addElement(jqo, $thisElement, divString); } } if (DEBUG) { console.log("No nearby allows so just place in first spot that is not after reject."); } var numElements = jqo.nextAll().length; var startIndex = jqo.index(); for (var i=startIndex; i<=numElements; i++) { var $element = $("#drr-container").children().eq(i); // This element is eligible when not null, not in placement index, and previous element is not reject if ($element != null && (placementIndex == null || placementIndex.indexOf(i) == -1) && !isReject($element.prev())) { return addElement(jqo, $element, divString); } } if (DEBUG) { console.log("Not going to place element: return 0."); } return 0; } /** * @param jqo Original jquery object * @param allowElement Element that is good placement for module/ad * @param divString The div to be inserted before the good element * @return placementHeightDiff Diff in height between original placement target and current target. * * If element is not too close to the end the insert the div before allowable element. * Add element index to placementIndex to keep track of which elements already have placements */ function addElement(jqo, allowElement, divString) { var offset = allowElement.index() - jqo.index(); if (DEBUG) { console.log("addElement: jqo index is " + jqo.index() + " allowElement index is " + allowElement.index()); } if (elementNotNearEnd(allowElement, RIGHT_PIXEL_WINDOW)) { allowElement.before(divString); if (DEBUG) { console.log("addElement: Adding " + allowElement.index() + " to placementIndex."); } placementIndex.push(allowElement.index()); if (offset == 0) { return 0; } else { return getHeightDifference(jqo,allowElement); } } else { if (DEBUG) { console.log("addElement: Near the end so do NOT add."); } return 0; } } function getHeightDifference(jqo,allowElement) { var offset = allowElement.index() - jqo.index(), height = 0, children = null; if (offset > 0) { children = $("#drr-container").children().slice(jqo.index(), allowElement.index()); } else { children = $("#drr-container").children().slice(allowElement.index(), jqo.index()); } if (children != null) { children.each(function(i) { if (DEBUG) { console.log("About to add this element's height to heigh diff offset"); console.log($(this)); } height += $(this).height() + GRAF_HEIGHT; }); } if (offset < 0) { height *= -1; } if (DEBUG) { console.log("getHeightDifference: offset was " + offset + " and height diff is : " + height); } return height; } function allowPlacement(jqo) { if (jqo.prev() != null && isReject(jqo.prev())) { return false; } return true; } function isReject(jqo) { if (jqo != null) { if (jqo.is('h2') || jqo.is('h3') || jqo.is('h4') || jqo.is('h5')) { if (DEBUG) { console.log("isReject: found header"); } return true; } } return false; } // Returns true if height of all elements after this one is more than 500; false otherwise function elementNotNearEnd(element, pixelWindow) { if (pixelWindow === null) { pixelWindow = 500; } if (element === null) { return false; } var remainingHeight = 0, children = $("#drr-container").children().slice(element.index()); if (children === null) { return false; } children.each(function(i){ remainingHeight += $(this).height(); }); if ( remainingHeight > pixelWindow) { return true; } else { if (DEBUG) { console.log("Element too close to end. 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Three dimensional NAND (3D NAND) is expected to dominate the solid-state drive (SSD) industry beginning next year, as suppliers reduce their shipments of flash storage based on traditional 2D or planar NAND, according to a new report.

According to DRAMeXchange’s latest forecast, NAND flash manufacturers are focusing their efforts on converting fabrication plants to 3D NAND, which is denser, faster and less expensive to produce than traditional 2D NAND.

toshiba 3d nand 100600214 orig Toshiba

Toshiba will begin manufacturing new 64-layer 3D NAND flash chips, which have 40% more potential capacity over the previous technology.

DRAMeXchange forecasts that the market supply of 2D NAND flash will begin to fall sharply in the first quarter. By the third quarter of 2017, the share of 2D NAND in the industry’s total bit shipments will be under 50%.

“Since the second quarter of 2016, suppliers have sped up their respective 3D NAND development process,” Sean Yang, research director of DRAMeXchange, said in a statement. “By the end of this year, 3D NAND is estimated to represent about 30% of the total flash bit shipments.”

However, the NAND flash industry’s wafer capacity is projected to increase by a marginal annual rate of 6% in 2017. That’s because as the pace of the industry-wide transition to 3D NAND architecture accelerates, supply of 2D NAND memory will drop sharply, leading to shortages next year, Yang noted.

Because of the dearth of NAND flash wafers, DRAMeXchange expects prices to rise next year. At the same time, SSD demand worldwide is projected to soar by 60% in 2017 compared to 2016, DRAMeXchange stated, even as many flash memory suppliers are still getting mass production of 3D NAND memory up to speed. Many flash manufacturers are focusing on next-generation, 64-layer 3D NAND.

micron 3d nand Micron

An example of Micron’s 3D NAND chip and gumstick SSD.

“Until the industry in general is able to apply 64-layer 3D NAND solutions to [SSD] storage products, the market supply for 3D NAND memory will remain tight,” DRAMeXchange’s report stated. “In the meantime, NAND flash prices will continue to go up and boost suppliers’ revenues.”

For example, Western Digital (WD) has begun manufacturing the third generation of its 3D NAND flash chips, which increases the number of layers from 48 to 64 and will allow it to double capacity.

Pilot production of the new 64-layer chips has already started in WD’s Yokkaichi, Japan joint venture fabrication plant. Initial shipments are expected in the fourth quarter of this year with “meaningful commercial volumes” beginning in the first half of 2017.

In 2015, SanDisk and technology partner Toshiba announced they were manufacturing the world’s first 48-layer 3D NAND product using BiCS (Bit-Cost Scalable) technology. That BiCS NAND flash chip offered 256Gbit (32GB) of capacity and stored 3-bits-per-cell (transistor). The latest iteration of the technology is called BiCS3. According to Toshiba, the new 64-layer 3D NAND flash chips have 40% more potential capacity over the previous BiCS2 technology.

SanDisk 3D NAND SanDisk

SanDisk and Toshiba announced last year they are manufacturing 256Gbit (32GB), 3-bit-per-cell (X3) 48-layer, 3D NAND flash chips that offer twice the capacity of the next densest memory. They called their 3D NAND technology BiCS, short for Bit Cost Scaling.

Micron has also stated it will begin mass production of its 64-layer, 3D NAND flash chips by the end of this year.

Overall, the SSD market will enjoy soaring demand next year and will represent 40% of all NAND flash consumption, DRAMeXchange’s report stated.

“Thus, SSDs will represent the fastest growing end-use market for NAND Flash in 2017,” DRAMeXchange said.

At the same time, smartphone shipments are slowing—as are tablet shipments. So, the trend to increase memory capacity per device has become the main driver for mobile NAND flash products versus the sheer number of SSDs shipped.

Since 128GB, NAND flash SSDs account for the largest share of iPhone 7 shipments, other smartphone brands have also equipped their devices with lowerquality but high-capacity embedded MultiMediaCards (eMMCs), or next-generation Universal Flash Storage (UFS) memory in order to stay competitive.

Additionally, more than half of all notebooks shipped worldwide during the fourth quarter of 2017 will carry SSDs, according to DRAMeXchange. In the enterprise-grade SSD market, demand continues to rise due to strong growth in the data center and server markets.

This story, "Advanced 3D NAND is ready to dominate SSDs, kill off traditional flash chips" was originally published by Computerworld.

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