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3D NAND technology: What it is and where it's headed

Last updated:July 2018

Editor's note

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.

13D 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.

2Where 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.

3Terms 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.

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