Ultra-Fast SSDs Coming: 2400 MT/s NAND in Mass Production

YMTC has begun shipments of its Zhitai TiPlus7100 SSDs based on its latest 232-layer 3D NAND Xtacking 3.0 memory with a 2400 MT/s interface, ITHome reports. This confirms that YMTC’s latest 3D NAND memory — which is required to produce SSDs with a PCIe 5.0 x4 interface that fully saturate this interface and hit a 12.4 GB/s sequential read speed — is now in mass production.  

YMTC’s Zhitai TiPlus7100 are M.2-2280 PCIe 4.0 x4 drives designed to combine affordability with strong performance. The SSDs are to be available in 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB versions with the speediest rated for a sequential read speed of up to 7000 MB/s as well as a sequential write speed of up to 6000 MB/s. 

When it comes to random performance, then 1TB and 2TB models are set to offer up to 900K random read IOPS as well as up to 700K random write IOPS. The TiPlus7100 drives do not carry any SDRAM buffer and uses a host memory buffer, which is an indicator that we are dealing with a reasonably priced product. Meanwhile, these drives can easily challenge the best SSDs available today. 

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Capacity 512GB 1TB 2TB
Interface PCIe 4.0 x4, NVMe 1.4 PCIe 4.0 x4, NVMe 1.4 PCIe 4.0 x4, NVMe 1.4
Form-factor M.2-2280 M.2-2280 M.2-2280
Sequential Read Speed 7000 MB/s 7000 MB/s 7000 MB/s
Sequential Write Speed 3600 MB/s 6000 MB/s 6000 MB/s
Random Read (4K) 800K IOPS 900K IOPS 900K IOPS
Random Write (4K) 600K IOPS 700K IOPS 700K IOPS
MTBF 1.5M hours 1.5M hours 1.5M hours
Durability 300 TBW 600 TBW 1200 TBW
Warranty 5 years 5 years 5 years

YMTC does not disclose what controller it uses for its Zhitai TiPlus7100 SSDs, but the main point about these drives for us is that they use the company’s 1Tb X3-9070 chips — 232-layer six-plane 3D TLC NAND memory devices with a 2400 MT/s interface and the company’s proprietary Xtacking 3.0 architecture.  

The 1Tb X3-9070 device not only boasts a bit density of 15.03 Gb/mm^2 (as revealed by TechInsights), which by far exceeds the bit density of 1Tb 3D TLC NAND memory ICs with less than 200 layers, but it also features an ultra-fast 2400 MT/s interface.

Earlier this week, Micron introduced its Micron 2550 drives based on its 232-layer six-plane 3D TLC NAND devices that is said to have a 14.6 Gb/mm^2 bit density, which outstrips YMTC’s 232-layer 3D TLC ICs in terms of bit density. Meanwhile, Micron’s ICs currently shipped have a 1600 MT/s interface, which is good enough for mainstream drives, but not good enough for ultra-high-performance SSDs with a PCIe 5.0 x4 interface.  

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NAND Layer Counts
Row 0 – Cell 0 YMTC Micron Samsung WD/Kioxia SK hynix YMTC
Shipping Now 232-Layer 232-Layer 128-Layer 162-Layer 176-Layer 128-Layer
Density per square mm 15.03 Gb mm^2 14.6 Gb mm^2 6.91 Gb mm^2 10.4 Gb mm^2 10.8 Gb mm^2 8.48 Gb mm^2
Die Capacity 1 Tb 1 Tb 512 Gb 1 Tb 512 Gb 512 Gb
Next-Gen (release date) ? ? 3xx (unknown) 212 (unknown) 238-Layer (2023) 196-Layer (2H, 2022)

Therefore, while YMTC is not the only company to mass produce 3D NAND with over 200 layers, it is the first company that is mass-producing memory with a 2400 MT/s I/O. This is not going to last long though as Micron plans in initiate production of 232-layer 3D NAND with a 2400 MT/s interface in early 2023.