SanDisk and Toshiba announce world’s first 256GB, 48-layer NAND memory chip

samsung introduces its own 256gbit 48 layer nand chip solid state drive
JIPEN/Shutterstock
NAND, the technology behind solid-state storage, has become incredibly popular. It’s found in smartphones, tablets, computers, external hard drives, flash drives, and more. Anything that makes it smaller is a boon for numerous devices, which is why SanDisk’s latest announcement is a big deal.

The company has taken the wraps off a new 256GB 3D NAND chip with three bits per cell and 48 layers. Built in Japan through a partnership with Toshiba, the chip is a world first that, for the moment, gives SanDisk an edge over competitors in terms of data density.

It’s important to note, though, that the “world’s first” claim is the consequence of the chip’s layers, not its capacity. Micron and Intel have already announced a 256GB 3D NAND chip, but it had only 32 layers. Increasing the number of layers matters because stacking vertically allows a reduction in horizontal width and breadth, effectively giving the chip a smaller footprint. Further decreasing chip size means SanDisk’s hardware can fit where other solid state chips of similar capacity can’t.

3D NAND (in some cases called V-NAND, short for Vertical NAND) looks to be the future of mass storage solid-state drives. It offers much higher data density, which means SSDs can better compete with the maximum capacity of mechanical disk drives. That’s something not possible with conventional NAND, at least not in a standard 2.5″ or 3.5″ drive footprint. The chips simply took up too much space.

That said, 3D NAND is not the only new technology in storage. Intel and Micron recently announced 3D XPoint, an all-new form of storage unrelated to NAND that promises far superior read/write performance and durability. Very few details have been revealed about 3D XPoint, however, and its first incarnations are likely to be pricey.

Buyers won’t have to wait long to see SanDisk’s new 256GB chip in action – it will be shipping in SanDisk products as early as next year.

Computing

MacOS Mojave launches on September 24. Here's what we like about it so far

Mojave is the latest version of MacOS, and it's out now. Chock-full of quality-of-life upgrades, we took it for a test drive to get a sneak peek at what you can expect from the next major update to MacOS.
Cars

Live your childhood monster truck fantasies in this six-wheeled Silverado

Hennessey has built a six-wheeled version of the new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado. Called Goliath 6x6, it boasts eight additional inches of ground clearance and a 705-horsepower V8 engine. Production is limited to 24 trucks.
Computing

Here’s what we want to see from the Surface Studio 2

Check out our list of the top rumors and wishes for the Surface Studio 2! Microsoft is likely to announce the Studio 2 this year: The iMac competitor first arrived with massive touchscreen and many design-friendly elements, but was severely…
Cars

Tesla says dash cam feature using car’s built-in cameras is coming soon

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is promising the next version of Autopilot, which is expected imminently, will include a dash cam feature that uses the car's built-in cameras. It's a feature many Tesla drivers have long been asking for.
Emerging Tech

How do 3D printers work? Here’s a super-simple breakdown

How do 3D printers work, exactly? If you ever wondered how these magical machines create 3D objects in a matter of hours, then look no further than this dead-simple breakdown of the four most common printing technologies.
Computing

How to enable dark mode in MacOS Mojave

Learn how to enable dark mode in MacOS Mojave! As Mac's latest update gears up to hit all Mac systems later this year, the public beta for Mojave is nearly open for you to test out the latest features. One of the most in-demand changes is…
Computing

Critical MacOS Mojave vulnerability bypasses system security

Security Researcher Patrick Wardle has discovered a critical MacOS Mojave security flaw that could potentially allow malicious applications to bypass Mac's system security controls.
Emerging Tech

Microsoft and Shell build A.I. into gas stations to help spot smokers

Shell and Microsoft have created a system for gas stations that can spot someone who's smoking or about to smoke. The platform uses multiple cameras, local computing power, and Microsoft's cloud intelligence system to do the job.
Computing

If your data is found on the dark web, Firefox Monitor will let you know

Firefox is finally launching its Firefox Monitor service and you don't have to use the Firefox browser to access it. Monitor scans the dark web to see if your email address has been leaked as part of a past data breach.
Computing

Chrome OS update could make switching to tablet mode far easier

Google is working on an update for Chrome OS that would make its browser-based operating system much easier to operate in tablet mode, even with the new, streamlined user interface.
Emerging Tech

Teaching machines to see illusions may help computer vision get smarter

Researchers are teaching computers to see optical illusions. The reason? To create smarter, more brain-like vision recognition algorithms for everything from robots to autonomous cars.
Computing

How many GPU video ports is too many? The Aorus RTX 2080 packs seven

Aorus' new RTX 2080 graphics card wants to turn up the new-generation GPUs to 11 with greater cooling, RGB lighting, and a whole host of video port options that give anyone more than they'll likely ever need.
Virtual Reality

Virtual reality breaks free as the HTC Wireless Adapter hits store shelves

Gamers can now break free from wires as the HTC Wireless Adapter hits store shelves, allowing HTC Vive users to connect their headsets wirelessly to their Windows PC without the need for cable tethers.
Deals

The ultrathin Dell S2718D 27-inch monitor is on sale for a very limited time

Does your PC monitor need an upgrade? The ultrathin Dell S2718D 27-inch monitor boasts InfinityEdge technology for a near bezel-less display and can charge your devices via a 45 watt USB-C port. It's on sale right now for $220.