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Your location: Home > Related Articles > X-NAND technology is expected to bring SLC level performance to QLC flash memory

X-NAND technology is expected to bring SLC level performance to QLC flash memory

Author:QINSUN Released in:2024-01 Click:25

Looking back at the development history of SSDs over the past decade, it can be seen that the speed and cost-effectiveness of solid-state drives have become increasingly high. About ten years ago, the price of 32GB/64GB SSDs could reach as high as $500/1100. Nowadays, you can buy a 1TB model for less than $150. However, with the emergence of a new technology called X-NAND, this trend will be further continued.

In order to fit more data bits into each storage unit, flash memory has gradually evolved from 1-bit SLC to 2, 3, and 4-bit MLC/TLC/QLC.

In addition, a 5-bit PLC NAND is under development, but we cannot see its presence before 2025.

For most netizens, they may know that SLC NAND flash memory has the best speed and durability, but the cost remains high.

On the other hand, although TLC and QLC NAND have relatively slow speeds, they are still suitable for manufacturing more cost-effective high-capacity SSDs with the support of DRAM and SLC caching strategies.

Interestingly, Neo Semiconductor, a flash design and semiconductor startup founded by Andy Hsu in 2012, claims to be able to leverage the new X-NAND flash technology to achieve higher performance and cost-effectiveness.

As early as last year's flash summit, foreign media had already reported on X-NAND. However, it was not until this month that this company was officially granted two key patents.

The characteristic of X-NAND is to combine the performance advantages of SLC NAND and multi bit storage density in a single package.

Compared to traditional solutions, X-NAND can reduce the buffer size of flash memory chips by up to 94%, allowing manufacturers to significantly increase the number of planes per chip from 2-4 to 16-64.

Based on this, NAND chips can achieve higher read and write parallel performance, and even improve the performance of SLC NAND.

In theory, X-NAND can increase sequential read rate to 27 times QLC, sequential write rate by 15 times, and random read and write performance by 3 times.

Thanks to the smaller and lower power consumption of NAND chips, their manufacturing cost can also be controlled to the same level as QLC. As for the significant improvement in durability, it is a bit complicated to say. Nevertheless, the company still claims to have improved compared to traditional TLC/QLC flash memory.

Currently, Neo Semiconductor is seeking to establish partnerships with NAND manufacturers such as Samsung, Intel, Micron, Armor, Western Digital, SK Hynix, etc. As of the time of publication, the company already holds 22 related patents.