Together with partner Kioxia, Western Digital has just given us a glimpse of their roadmap for NAND development in the next few years. The company plans to launch its sixth-generation BiCS soon, which will feature 162-layer TLC and QLC structures.
consideringMicronIt might not sound that impressive until competitors have had 176-layer NAND for a while, but Western Digital claims they will make chips even smaller by using a new material to shrink the size of memory cells. This will allow them to make cheaper storage devices that perform just as well. Mass production of the BiCS6 3D NAND is scheduled to begin in late 2022, and Western Digital plans to use the chips in products ranging from cheap USB drives to PCIe 5.0 solid-state drives.
Western Digital also talked about their upcoming BiCS+ flash memory with 200 layers, which will be available in 2024. Compared to BiCS6, it features 55% more bits per wafer, 60% faster transfer speed and 15% faster write speed. It’s worth noting that BiCS+ is only used for SSDs in data centers, as the company plans to offer consumer storage a different grade of 2xx-layer NAND, dubbed BiCS-Y.
Western Digital also shared that they are working on multiple technologies to increase density and capacity, including PLCs, and they plan to build NAND with more than 500 layers in the next decade.