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The American memory manufacturer micron recently made the world’s first 3D NAND Flash Memory Introduced, which has 176 cell layers – until now the maximum has been 128. Along with an improved architecture, Micron promises not only SSDs with even higher storage capacities, but also faster data transfer speeds. And all this is not just a study or a first result: the memory is already being produced and the first SSD models are already on their way to partners and the company’s subsidiary Crucial. The start of sales of market-ready SSDs for industry and end customers is planned for 2021.

To enable the 176 cell layers in the first place, the self-developed second generation “Replacement Gates” (RG) are also used, which use even more conductive metal instead of silicon. The RG are combined with the charge-trap technique. The latter is already used by the competition and, compared to the widespread floating gate method, mainly provides a higher yield of the memory chips. Both along with other refinements allow for 176 cell layers, which in turn allows for even smaller memory chip areas, higher data throughput, lower latencies, and significantly increased memory density – ie, more memory in a smaller space.