Micron expands portfolio with 176-layer NAND, 1α-DRAM

Micron Technology

Taipei, Taiwan: Micron unveiled memory and storage products across its portfolio based on its industry-leading 176-layer NAND and 1α-DRAM technology. It also released the industry’s first Universal Flash Storage (UFS) 3.1 solution for automotive applications.

The expanded portfolio is based on the company’s vision of accelerating data-driven insights through innovations in memory and storage that enable new capabilities from the data centre to the intelligent edge.

Micron President and CEO Sanjay Mehrotra made the announcements during a Computex keynote today. He shared a sweeping vision for computing innovation and the central role of memory and storage in enabling enterprises to seize the full potential of the data economy.

Micron announced volume delivery of its first PCIe Gen4 solid-state drives (SSDs) built with the world’s first 176-layer NAND. The company is also shipping the world’s first 1α node-based LPDDR4x DRAM this month.

LPDDR4x is the latest JEDEC specification for fourth-generation low-power DRAM with improved input/output voltage for substantially lower power, making it ideal for mobile computing devices.

“As artificial intelligence and 5G reach mainstream deployment, they are creating dramatic new potential for data in the post-pandemic world,” said Mehrotra.

“This transformation presents an opportunity for accelerating innovation to address customer needs. Today we are debuting new memory and storage solutions that accelerate innovation, from powerful data center servers and faster client devices to intelligent vehicles at the edge,” added Mehrotra.

Micron PCIe Gen4 SSD portfolio is designed to tackle demanding client applications
The company’s latest SSDs, the Micron 3400 and 2450, deliver high performance and design flexibility with low power consumption to enable all-day use from professional workstations to ultra-thin notebooks.

The Micron 3400 SSD provides twice the read throughput and up to 85% higher write throughput, unleashing demanding applications like real-time 3D rendering, computer-aided design, gaming and animation.

For customers seeking the best value with PCIe Gen4 performance, the Micron 2450 SSD delivers a highly responsive user experience for everyday use. The 2450 SSD is available in three form factors, as small as the 22 x30mm M.2, to deliver immense design flexibility.

“AMD was first to adopt PCIe 4.0 desktop processor and chipset support. As the ecosystem of AMD-supported platforms continues to grow, we are delighted to see partners like Micron expand their Gen4 SSD portfolio,” said Chris Kilburn, Corporate VP and GM – Client Component Business Unit, AMD.

Besides AMD, the Micron 3400 and 2450 are listed on the Intel Modern Standby Partner Portal Platform Component List and meet the open labs’ SSD test requirements of Intel Project Athena. Additionally, both Micron SSDs have been validated for AMD’s PCIe Power Speed Policy and Microsoft Windows Modern Standby.

Micron ships the world’s first 1α-based LPDDR4x and DDR4, now in volume production
Micron is shipping LPDDR4x in volume on its leading 1α node this month, quickly following the introduction of initial 1α node DRAM products in January 2021.

The company has also completed validation of its 1α-based DDR4 on leading data centre platforms, including 3rd Generation AMD EPYC. Both are in volume production in Micron’s advanced DRAM fabrication facilities in Taiwan, including its newly established A3 facility in Taichung.

The company’s 1α-based memory provides advanced technology to power innovation from data-centric workloads on server platforms to consumers’ slim notebooks. 1α enables power-efficiency improvements for memory, bringing mobility advantages for notebooks by enabling longer battery life both for the work- and study-from-home environments.

Micron has partnered closely with leading system providers around the globe to meet the soaring demand for PCs. It has a deep collaboration with Taiwan based OEM Acer on integrating 1α-based LPDDR4x and DDR4 into Acer systems.

“We are working closely with Micron to introduce their most advanced 1α DRAM process node in Acer’s systems and provide high-performance, power-efficient personal computers for more people to stay connected across the world,” said Jason Chen, Chairman and CEO – Acer.

The 1α node process also provides a 40% improvement in memory density and up to 20% improvement in power savings for mobile use cases when compared to previous 1z node LPDDR4x. This power savings is ideal for mobile phones that must preserve battery life, particularly with memory-intensive use cases like capturing photos and video.

Micron announced that it is sampling 128GB and 256GB densities of its 96-layer NAND as part of its new portfolio of UFS 3.1 managed NAND products for automotive applications.

With infotainment systems evolving to include high-resolution displays and human-machine interface capabilities based on artificial intelligence (AI), Micron’s UFS 3.1 portfolio provides much-needed high-throughput and low-latency storage.

Micron UFS 3.1 offers two times faster read performance than UFS 2.1, enabling fast boot times and minimizing latency for data-intensive in-vehicle infotainment and advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS).

UFS 3.1 also provides 50% faster-sustained write performance to keep pace with real-time local storage needs of growing sensor and camera data for Level 3+ ADAS systems and black box applications.

Market research and strategy consulting firm Yole Développement (Yole) projects the market for NAND in automotive to grow to $3.6 billion in 2025, nearly quadrupling from $0.9 billion in 2020.

As vehicles become more software-centric, these new centres of data require high-performance storage to make large volumes of information readily available for near-instant processing.

ADAS-enabled vehicles now contain over 100 million lines of code that must be stored and quickly read for snappier user experiences and quick decision-making at the edge.

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