Kioxia, Western Digital announce 6th-gen 3D flash memory

Jessie Shen, DIGITIMES, Taipei 0

Kioxia and Western Digital jointly announced they have developed their sixth-generation, 162-layer 3D flash memory technology.

This sixth-generation 3D flash memory features advanced architecture beyond conventional eight-stagger memory hole array and achieves up to 10% greater lateral cell array density compared to the fifth-generation technology, according to the companies. This lateral scaling advancement, in combination with 162 layers of stacked vertical memory, enables a 40% 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% improvement in read latency compared to the previous generation. I/O performance also improves by 66%, enabling the next-generation interface to support the ever-increasing need for faster transfer rates.

Overall, the new 3D flash memory technology reduces the cost per bit, as well as increases the manufactured bits per wafer by 70%, compared with the previous generation.

"Through our strong partnership that has spanned two decades, Kioxia and Western Digital have successfully created unrivaled capabilities in manufacturing and R&D," said Masaki Momodomi, Kioxia CTO. "Together, we produce over 30% of the world's flash memory bits and are steadfast in our mission to provide exceptional capacity, performance and reliability at a compelling cost. We each deliver this value proposition across a range of data-centric applications from personal electronics to data centers as well as emerging applications enabled by 5G networks, artificial intelligence and autonomous systems."

"As Moore's Law reaches its physical limits across the semiconductor industry, there's one place where Moore's Law continues its relevancy - that's in flash," said Siva Sivaram, president of technology and strategy for Western Digital. "To continue these advances and meet the world's growing data demands, a new approach to 3D flash memory scaling is critical. With this new generation, Kioxia and Western Digital are introducing innovations in vertical as well as lateral scaling to achieve greater capacity in a smaller die with fewer layers."