12,000,000,000,000 bits in a single package

July 2, 2017 | 13:17
12,000,000,000,000 bits in a single package
12,000,000,000,000 bits in a single package
One of the things in life of which you can’t have enough is memory for your smart devices. For this reason semiconductor manufacturers keep on trying to cram as much bits in a volume as small as possible. In a volume, yes, not on a surface, because it has been a while that memory chips grow like sky scrapers in three dimensions instead of just two. A new 96-layer BiCS 3D flash memory device developed by Toshiba with a storage capacity of 32 gigabytes (GB) nicely illustrates this trend. Last time we looked, not so long ago, they were only at 64 layers.

Not only do memory manufacturers stack layers, they also put more bits in every cell. Up to now three bits per cell, so-called TLCs or triple-level cells, was common but QLCs or quadruple-level cells have arrived in the meantime. By stacking 64 layers of QLCs the engineers at Toshiba have created a 96-gigabyte device. By integrating 16 of these dies in one package they even built a device with a capacity of a whopping 1.5 TB, that corresponds to 12 trillion bits…

If you happen to be in the neighbourhood, you can check it all out at the 2017 Flash Memory Summit in Santa Clara, California, United States, from August 7-10.

Image source: Toshiba
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