In a nutshell: Western Digital plans to start mass-producing 162-layer BiCS6 3D NAND, which is likely to be used in PCIe 5 SSDs by the end of this year. The company is also working on NAND with 200+ layers meant for datacenter storage, PLC, and ways to bond together multiple 3D NAND wafers to increase the number of layers.
Western Digital and partner Kioxia just shared a glimpse at their roadmap for NAND development over the next few years. The company plans to introduce its 6th generation BiCS soon, which will feature 162 layers in TLC and QLC configurations.
While that might not sound so impressive considering competitors like Micron have had 176-layer NAND for a while now, WD claims they will shrink the memory cell size by using a new material, resulting in smaller die sizes.
The company hopes this will enable them to make storage devices at a lower price that are just as efficient. Mass production of BiCS6 3D NAND is scheduled to start in late 2022, with WD planning to use these chips in products ranging from cheap USB drives to PCIe 5.0 SSDs.
WD also talked about their upcoming BiCS+ memory with over 200 layers, which is set to arrive by 2024. It will feature 55 percent more bits per wafer, 60 percent higher transfer speed, and a 15 percent higher write speed compared to BiCS6.
It is important to note that BiCS+ can only be used in datacenter SSDs. However, the company plans to offer a new class of 2xx-layer NAND storage for consumers, called BiCS-Y.
Western Digital additionally shared that they are work