3D NAND is the latest generation of flash memory (also known as flash storage).
Flash memory is used in enterprise server storage (data storage for large businesses) and networking technology, as well as in a wide range of consumer devices, including USB flash drives, smartphones, digital cameras, tablets, and laptops.
Before the introduction of 3D NAND technology, NAND flash memory options were all 2D or planar. However, we’re now reaching the physical limits of what can be achieved on a 2D plane.
Unlike 2D NAND where memory cells are crammed into a limited space on a chip, 3D NAND stacks the memory cells vertically on top of each other. Through cutting edge process technology, 3D NAND chips vertically connect the cell layers with channel holes (pathways through which data passes).
Just as skyscrapers allow a city’s population to increase within the same footprint, 3D NAND memory cell stacks increase storage capacity within the same horizontal space.
This new architecture delivers significantly more storage capacity – and at a lower cost per gigabyte.
But it’s not just about storage capacity. 3D NAND also enables data to process twice as fast, compared to earlier NAND chips and cuts power consumption by half.
For the everyday person, this means more data capacity, faster speeds, greater reliability and better power efficiency for our devices. We’ll be able to transfer files faster, store many more photos, analyze data in real time, and use robust applications without any lag, among many other things.