3D NAND flash stacks memory cells vertically in multiple layers, achieving a higher density than traditional NAND memory. It can be used in the same situations as traditional NAND and has a number of advantages over hard disk and tape storage. So, why hasn't 3D NAND technology taken over the role of traditional, planar NAND?
The last few years have been tumultuous for NAND flash. Last year, a lengthy NAND flash shortage drove up SSD costs and slowed the transition to 3D NAND technology. 3D NAND is a denser, faster option than traditional NAND, but high manufacturing costs and complexity have extended the transition from older NAND technology. The precise chip manufacturing process of 3D NAND requires a substantial investment from vendors and can make production a lengthy and delayed process.
Luckily, the shortage has ended, and the technology appears to be thriving. Vendor investment and interest have paid off, with a number of flash memory companies announcing NAND flash products and expressing enthusiasm for the future of 3D NAND. The question now appears to be less about whether an organization should consider 3D NAND, but where does it work best?
In this guide, we'll take a look at the best applications for 3D NAND, the intricacies of NAND flash technology and what's available. We'll also examine the future of 3D NAND and what role it will play in the data center of tomorrow. If you're new to 3D NAND technology, take a look at our glossary at the end of the guide for a quick introduction to some key terms.
1How it works-
When and how to use 3D NAND
The benefits of 3D NAND flash are many, but there are a variety of options for different storage scenarios. Is 3D NAND the right choice? If so, which type of NAND flash is best for your business? It's important to understand not only where NAND technology works, but where it isn't ideal.
The drawbacks of TLC NAND flash memory make it an option for tier-two storage or applications that read data frequently, rather than writing it. Continue Reading
Charge trap technology is being used more frequently in NAND flash SSDs and provides clear advantages. These cells are less likely to be damaged and leak electrons compared with floating gate cells. However, charge trap technology has its own set of reliability issues. Continue Reading
Get up to speed on NAND flash memory basics, such as the differences among SLC, MLC and TLC, as well as what's on the horizon for 3D TLC NAND. Continue Reading
2In the news-
3D NAND updates and developments
Thanks to the bump in interest in 3D NAND technology, flash memory vendors are getting into the market. See what vendors, such as Intel and Micron, are offering to meet demand for 3D NAND technology.
Western Digital's HGST Ultrastar-branded, 12 Gbps, SAS-based 3D NAND SSDs target high-performance enterprise workloads. The vendor joins Samsung as one of the only SSD vendors to ship SAS SSDs based on 3D NAND flash. Continue Reading
Intel launches a new P4510 series of its U.2 SSDs, equipped with its 64-layer TLC 3D NAND flash and enhanced firmware. This development enables greater storage density and lower random read latency than the prior model. Continue Reading
Where is 3D NAND technology headed?
After a tough year, the NAND flash shortage of 2017 appears to be over. So, what's next? Technology is constantly developing, and there will always be stiff competition in the market. But thanks to durability, technological advances and vendor investment, 3D NAND flash may be here to stay.
While NAND flash cost per gigabyte could remain higher than HDDs, 3D NAND may remain useful for two or more decades. Continue Reading
Several factors can shorten NAND flash memory durability, including some measures that vendors take to improve the life of their drives. Continue Reading
Terms to know
Whether you're looking for a knowledge refresh or are new to the subject area entirely, here are a number of key terms related to 3D NAND flash that you might want to brush up on.