China’s YMTC Boosts SSDs With 232-Layer 3D NAND Memory

Yangtze Memory Technologies (YMTC) has teamed up with China-based SSD brands and developers of flash controllers to market solid-state drives based on its 232-layer 3D NAND memory, reports DigiTimes. While the company does not formally have access to wafer fab equipment required to make such flash memory and cannot sell such devices to multinational drive suppliers, it can still sell in China. 

YMTC has traditionally worked with Maxio Technology, a China-based developer of SSD controllers, to design solid-state drive platforms. So it is not particularly surprising that the two companies have a platform based on 232-layer 3D NAND. DigiTimes claims that YMTC has teamed up with other China-based SSD controller firms to build drives featuring its latest memory and their chips, though it does not disclose the names of these companies.

One SSD supplier that markets 232-layer 3D TLC NAND-based drives is Tengyn. The manufacturer started to sell SSDs featuring YMTC’s X3-9070 memory a couple of months ago, and since then, their prices have dropped sharply. Like in other parts of the world, there is an oversupply of 3D NAND in China, so low SSD prices are expected. Meanwhile, since YMTC has trouble selling its advanced 3D NAND memory elsewhere, it is probably willing to sell it at a discount in the People’s Republic to keep its fabs busy.

YMTC’s 232-layer 3D TLC NAND memory featuring its Xtacking 3.0 architecture was developed to address applications like the best client and server SSDs needing high performance and storage density. The memory devices feature a 15.47Gb/mm2 areal density, according to Yole Group, and a 2400 MT/s interface. 3D NAND devices featuring such a speedy I/O can be used to build PCIe Gen5 x4 drives that offer throughput of over 12 GB/s, and such drives are still not common.

Yet, because the U.S. government blacklists YMTC, international SSD makers are reluctant to use its advanced 3D NAND memory for their products due to possible risks.