Micron has announced its first SSDs using Quad Level Cell (QLC) NAND memory during A3 Technology Live Conference. The SATA drives are targeted at the enterprise market and should become available later this year.
(64GB QLC NAND wafer)
Because the QLC NAND is able to store four bits per cell, it offers 33% more capacity but also lower performance and reduced durability. It’s currently the last NAND variant, currently SSDs with SLC, MLC and TLC NAND are common, where Single Level Cell (SLC) is the most expensive but also the fastest and most durable variant.
The QLC NAND drives are expected to be most suitable for read-intensive applications. Especially cases where long term low-cost storage is required that is faster than traditional magnetic storage.
It’s unknown when the drives will become available, Micron only revealed a wafer from which the company is able to create 64GB QLC NAND chips.
Micron isn’t the only manufacturer working on QLC NAND. Also SK Hynix, Toshiba, Samsung and Western Digital previously stated to be working on QLC NAND technology.