Micron has become the first company to ship 176-layer QLC NAND flash at volume, paving the way for higher capacity SSDs at lower price points.
According to Micron, 176-layer QLC NAND enables 33% higher I/O speeds and 24% lower read latency than its previous 96-layer QLC. The company expects these performance improvements to help triple the adoption of QLC in consumer markets by 2023.
The “groundbreaking” NAND technology is set to feature predominantly in budget laptops and desktops, potentially eliminating one of the last remaining use cases for internal hard disk drives in the consumer space.
Micron 2400 SSD
Micron’s 176-layer QLC NAND will be first showcased in the new Micron 2400 PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD, which comes in three flavors: 512GB, 1TB and 2TB.
The company says the highest-capacity model reaches sequential read speeds of 4.5GB/s and write speeds of 4GB/s, and random reads/writes of 650K and 700K IOPS, respectively.
Although this level of performance doesn’t come close to the most performant SSDs on the market, the Micron 2400 outstrips even the fastest HDDs by a significant margin, supposedly at a competitive price point.
The top SKU is also the world’s only 2TB SSD that comes in the miniscule 22x30mm M.2 form-factor, which makes it suitable for ultrabooks and other thin-and-light laptops. More common 22x42mm and 22x80mm versions are also available.
“Micron’s 2400 SSD builds upon our 176-layer NAND industry leadership to drive the transition to QLC-based storage for the client market,” said Jeremy Werner, Corporate VP at Micron.
“Furthering our market leadership, we expect the new 2400 PCIe Gen4 SSD will significantly accelerate the adoption of QLC in client devices as it enables broader design options and more affordable capacity.”
Although the Micron 2400 will only be available to device manufacturers, the company says 176-layer NAND technology will also be incorporated into select Micron Crucial consumer SSDs in future.