Western Digital and Kioxia announced earlier this week that they have developed their sixth-generation, 162-layer 3D flash memory technology. Marking the next milestone in the companies’ 20-year joint-venture partnership, this is the companies’ highest density and most advanced 3D flash memory technology to date, utilizing a wide range of technology and manufacturing innovations.
This sixth-generation 3D flash memory features advanced architecture beyond conventional eight-stagger memory hole array and achieves up to 10 percent greater lateral cell array density compared to the fifth-generation technology. This lateral scaling advancement, in combination with 162 layers of stacked vertical memory, enables a 40 percent reduction in die size compared to the 112-layer stacking technology, optimizing cost.
The Kioxia and Western Digital teams also applied Circuit Under Array CMOS placement and four-plane operation, which together deliver nearly 2.4 times improvement in program performance and 10 percent improvement in reading latency compared to the previous generation. I/O performance also improves by 66 percent, enabling the next-generation interface to support the ever-increasing need for faster transfer rates.
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Overall, the new 3D flash memory technology reduces the cost per bit, as well as increases the manufactured bits per wafer by 70 percent, compared with the previous generation. Kioxia and Western Digital continue to drive innovation to ensure continued scaling to meet the needs of customers and their diverse applications.