KIOXIA and Western Digital Announce New 3D Flash Memory

Ground-breaking Architectural Innovations in Scaling and Wafer Bonding Technology Deliver Significant Advancements in Performance, Density, and Cost

Düsseldorf, Germany, 31 March 2023 – KIOXIA Europe GmbH, in collaboration with KIOXIA Corporation and Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC), has shared the latest developments in their partnership. The companies have announced the details of their newest 3D flash memory technologies, which utilise advanced scaling and wafer bonding technologies to offer exceptional capacity, performance, and reliability, making it ideal for addressing the needs of exponential data growth across various market segments.

Alper Ilkbahar, Senior Vice President of Technology and Strategy at Western Digital, said, “The new 3D flash memory showcases the benefits of our strong partnership with KIOXIA and our combined innovation leadership. By working together on a joint R&D roadmap and continuing to invest in R&D, we have managed to bring this foundational technology to market ahead of schedule and deliver high-performance, capital-efficient solutions.”

KIOXIA and Western Digital have reduced costs and enabled continuous lateral scaling advancements by introducing several unique processes and architectures. This balance between vertical and lateral scaling produces more capacity in a smaller form factor with fewer layers, all at an optimised cost. The companies have also developed the ground-breaking CBA (CMOS directly Bonded to Array) technology, in which each CMOS wafer and cell array wafer is optimised and manufactured separately before being connected to achieve advanced bit density and fast NAND I/O speeds.

Masaki Momodomi, CTO of KIOXIA Corporation, stated, “Thanks to our unique engineering partnership, we have successfully launched the industry’s highest bit density, eighth-generation BiCS FLASH™.” He continued, “I am pleased with the start of sample shipments for select customers. By implementing CBA technology and scaling innovations, we have expanded our portfolio of 3D flash memory technologies for use in a range of data-centric applications, including smartphones, IoT devices, and data centres.”

The 218-layer 3D flash utilises four-plane 1 TB triple-level cells (TLC) and quad-level cells (QLC) and features innovative lateral shrinking technology to increase bit density by over 50%. With high-speed NAND I/O of over 3.2 Gb/s, a 60% improvement compared to the previous generation, and a 20% improvement in write performance and read latency, the overall performance and usability for users will be accelerated.

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