Intel and Micron Present 25nm TLC NAND

The market for flash memory is continuously gaining traction, and development goes forward in an almost unhealthy pace; to increase capacity and performance, but also to minimize cost and make for both larger and cheaper flash-based storage units. Just as Toshiba did recently, Intel and Micron have just presented a huge leap forward in flash-based storage, namely TLC NAND or Triple Level Cell.

TLC means that each memory cell can store three bits of data instead of two (MLC) or one (SLC). In combination with 25Nm production technology, these new memory chips will be able to accommodate much higher capacity for the same price compared to existing technologies. This in turn will help lower production costs and ultimately lower prices for consumers.

TLC flash will primarily be used in USB devices and embedded devices like smart phones and media players. Micron already planning a micro-SD card with 64GB of storage space thanks to TLC flash. Intel and Micron expect to be i full production by the end of the year.  However, they will not use TLC flash for SSDs, the reason being that TLC is too slow to be interesting for solid state drives, as it can’t write as fast as SLC and MLC.

But don’t rule out TLC SSDs just yet – this technology is developing at an incredible pace, so before long it might be fast enough for PC storage.