Micron Technology has revealed plans to start selling Solid-State Drives using triple-level cell NAND chips starting from this Quarter (Q4 2015). The company will be using 16nm based fabrication process and said that TLC NAND would consist 50% of its projects by the year.
“We will begin shipping consumer SSDs based on TLC in the current quarter,” said Mark Adams, the president of Micron, during the most recent conference call with investors and financial analysts.
TLC NANDs are cheaper to make compared to MLC, not just for Micron. A TLC NAND can store up to three bits of data per memory cell but at the cost of being less durable compared to multi-level cell NAND. While TLC NAND have up to 1000 P/E cycles, MLC is known to have up to 3,000 P/E lifespan. Moreover, TLCs need a set of implementations such as specific controllers and firmware to make a solid TLC based SSDs.
Samsung, SanDisk and Toshiba have been selling TLC based SSDs for a while. Whether Micron can offer better TLC performing NAND or a lower cost alternative is something that remains to be seen.