Intel and Micron has been partnering for various development in the memory space. They have just announced the launch of the first commercially available QLC flash memory. Each cell will be able to store 4 bits of data, and each chip will have a capacity of 1Tbit. This equates to 128GB per chip. The new technology further increases the storage density of each chip, enabling drives with larger storage capacities within the same physical size.
Currently, the QLC memory uses a 2nd generation 3D stacking 64-layer process. It still utilizes a floating gate to store a charge with a CMOS under the array technology. Compared to competition whom only uses 2 planes, the new QLC adopts 4 planes, which allows simultaneous read and write operations for improved performance.
Micron has also released a brand new 5210 ION SSD which uses the new memory technology. This SSD is particularly useful for read-intensive applications. The new 5210 ION should be an addition to the new 5200 Max, Pro and Eco SSD series. It is expected to come in a 2.5 inch form factor with a 7mm height and SATA 6Gbps interface. The drive will be available in 1.92TB to 7.68TB capacities.
There’s currently no other further details on the 5210 ION SSD from Micron. They only emphasized that the said SSD will improve power efficiency and increase storage capabilities.
The new 5210 ION SSD will be an enterprise-class product. As of now, there are no words on a consumer variant. However, we do expect that the QLC memory technology will be made available to the consumer market as well.
On the other hand, Intel has previously exposed the new 660p SSD through one of their dealers. The 660p SSD is said to be only available with a M.2 PCIe 3.0 x2 interface, and will come in 512GB/1TB/2TB capacities. The 660p is said to have a read and write speed of up to 1800MB/s and 1100MB/s respectively. Considerably, this is actually much better than the 600p.