A couple of months ago SK Hynix initiated production of its first 128-layer 1Tb TLC NAND flash memory and now we hear that Micron is taping out its 4th generation 3D NAND flash memory, which uses 128-layers. Mass production of these chips is expected in 2020 but Micron says it's 128-layer 3D NAND may not see the same kind of adoption as its current 96-layer chips.
Micron appears to be more focused on the next generation, which will deliver bigger cost-per-bit gains for the firm:
The company appears to be more focused on its evolution, possibly the 5th generation 3D NAND, which are expected to bring tangible cost-per-bit gains for the company, as it transitions to a newer silicon fabrication node, and implements even newer technologies besides RG. "We achieved our first yielding dies using replacement gate or "RG" for short. This milestone further reduces the risk for our RG transition. As a reminder, our first RG node will be 128 layers and will be used for a select set of products. We don't expect RG to deliver meaningful cost reductions until FY2021 when our second-generation RG node is broadly deployed. Consequently, we are expecting minimal cost reductions in NAND in FY2020. Our RG production deployment approach will optimize the ROI of our NAND capital investments," said Sanjay Mehrotra, CEO and president of Micron.