Chugging right along that TechInsights Flash Roadmap we saw last year, Micron has announced the TLC extension to their 16nm flash memory process node.

While 16nm TLC was initially promised Q4 of 2014, I believe Micron distracted themselves a little with their dabbles into Dynamic Write Acceleration technology. No doubt wanting to offer ever more cost effective SSDs to their portfolio, the new TLC 16nm flash will take up less die space for the same capacity, meaning more dies per 300mm wafer, ultimately translating to lower cost/GB of consumer SSDs.

Micron's 16nm (MLC) flash

The Crucial MX200 and BX100 SSDs have already been undercutting the competition in cost/GB, so the possibility of even lower cost SSDs is a more than welcome idea – just so long as they can keep the reliability of these parts high enough. IMFT has a very solid track record in this regard, so I don't suspect any surprises in that regard.

Full press blast appears after the break.

Micron Announces New Flash Storage Designed for Consumer Applications

New High-Capacity Triple-Level-Cell (TLC) NAND Provides Efficient, High-Performance Storage

News Highlights – 16nm TLC NAND

  • Offers a focused balance in cost, capacity and performance.
  • Enables the same capacity as MLC NAND with a 28% savings in die area.
  • Targeted for use in applications that value performance and reliability, but where cost per GB is the first and foremost consideration, including USB drives and consumer solid state drives.

COMPUTEX, TAIPEI, TAIWAN AND BOISE, IDAHO, June 3, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Today, Micron Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: MU) announced a new addition to its expansive portfolio of flash storage products, providing a purpose-built solution for cost-sensitive consumer applications seeking high performance and reliability. The new TLC NAND is built on their 16-nanometer (nm) process and delivers a balanced set of features for applications like USB drives and consumer solid state drives. The market appetite for TLC is projected to be strong throughout 2015, constituting almost half of the total NAND gigabytes shipped.

Micron’s 16nm process—recognized by TechInsights as the Most Innovative Memory Device and 2014 Semiconductor of the Year—is a mature and proven storage technology, making it an excellent foundation for a reliable TLC design. TLC, or triple-level cell, is a technology that fits three bits in every flash data cell, creating greater cost and size efficiency.

Customers of the technology will benefit from Micron’s extensive design support team, who act as trusted advisors to ensure smooth qualification and optimal end-solution performance. Key flash customers and ecosystem partners worldwide have already begun working to integrate this new NAND with their latest designs, ensuring quick adoption in end applications.

“Our new TLC NAND technology meets the ever-rising demand for reliable high-capacity storage,” said Kevin Kilbuck, director of NAND planning at Micron. “We see 16nm TLC as an excellent solution for 2015 consumer applications as we drive toward 3D NAND TLC production in 2016.”

The new TLC part adds to Micron’s comprehensive portfolio of flash products, which spans four process generations and multiple technologies to ensure focused solutions for almost any application imaginable—everything from consumer and mobile to enterprise, embedded, and automotive markets. The new 16GB TLC NAND is in production and available now. Micron has been sampling multiple partners, which will enable consumer SSD solutions based on this technology to come to market this fall. Micron also expects to release its own TLC-based client SSD in that timeframe.


Kevin Chen, Vice President, ADATA

“We’re excited to release a new line of consumer SSDs featuring Micron TLC. The cost-to-performance, technical support and reliability provided by Micron ensures our customers get the best value for their storage.”

James Lee, President, Tigo

“Reliable TLC flash is critical to building storage products that serve developing markets. Micron’s 16nm TLC delivers the ideal balance of features for our customers.”

Chris Chen, Director of Product Management, Transcend Information

“Our consumers depend on high density storage at an affordable price point. Micron’s 16nm TLC will be an excellent choice for consumer media cards and storage.”

Brett Pemble, Vice President of SSD Products, Seagate

 “We have enjoyed a close collaborative relationship with Micron and look forward to continued solution shipments that integrate both of our latest technologies. Our new SF3500 client SSD controller is intended to create a compelling platform for using this latest Micron technology in both OEM and our own PCIe and SATA SSDs—delivering a win-win for all companies."

Nelson Duann, Vice President of Product Marketing, Silicon Motion Inc.

“We have a long history of strong cooperation with Micron to ensure seamless integration of their flash with our advanced controller technology. We are excited to be the first to offer high-performance, cost effective USB and SSD controllers supporting Micron’s 16nm TLC NAND.”