SSDs still cost more per gigabyte than HDDs, but at least the storage capacity has been growing at a good pace. THE Samsung has just taken another step in this direction: announced this Tuesday (6th), the sixth generation of technology V-NAND company will allow its SSD chips to have more than 100 layers of cells.
V-NAND (Vertical NAND) is a technique that increases the chip’s storage capacity by “stacking” cells instead of just keeping them “side by side”. The more layers of cells, the more data can be stored, consequently. Other manufacturers refer to this technique as 3D NAND.
The first generation of V-NAND was formed by 24 layers of cells. The number was steadily increasing:
- 1st generation (July 2013): 24 layers
- 2nd generation (August 2014): 32 layers
- 3rd generation (August 2015): 48 layers
- 4th generation (December 2016): 64 layers
- 5th generation (May 2018): 9x layers
- 6th generation (July 2019, although announced in August): 1xx layers
In Samsung’s words, the sixth generation of the V-NAND adds 40% more cells to the storage structure compared to the fifth generation. This means that the first chips with the new technology may have 136 layers of cells.
Also according to Samsung, the new chips consume 15% less energy than the previous generation and are 10% faster in data transfer.
To prevent these advances from making chips more susceptible to read errors and latency problems, the company has developed a circuit design that optimizes data transfer without compromising performance: rates are below 450 microseconds in write operations and 45 microseconds in readings.
Thanks to this optimization process, Samsung estimates that it will be able to implement more than 300 layers in the next generation of V-NAND without impairing the reliability or performance of the chips.
When will the new technology hit the market? Samsung has not yet revealed dates, but says it has already started producing 250 GB SSDs based on the new V-NAND chips – each of which stores three bits per cell and has a total capacity of 256 gigabits. The intention is to launch them by the end of the year.
There are also plans to produce the new V-NAND chips in 512 gigabit versions this semester and bring the technology to the eUFS standard (cellphone-oriented storage chip).