Micron First to Market with 232 Layer NAND

The Six Five team discusses Micron’s introduction of the market’s first 232 Layer NAND.

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Patrick Moorhead:  232-layer NAND that Micron brought out, world’s first, which I think they deserve a little bit more than a golf clap.

Daniel Newman: Well, let me get my notebook out. I got to take notes here. This is a learning experience for me as well.

Patrick Moorhead: Ah, nah, nah. No. Okay. First of all, NAND is high performance storage. And that can be in a smartphone, that can be in a PC, or that can be in a data center. Right? And, Daniel, I know you’re going to talk a little bit more about why this even matters at big picture in the growth opportunity. But what happens is the more layers that you can stack on top of each other in storage, the higher the density. So, essentially, what the company did is put almost 2X the density inside the same amount of space on the piece of silicon. And that’s nearly twice the density of Samsung. And that’s nearly twice the density of Kioxia. Not that someday those folks will get there, but being first does count for more.

I had a great conversation with head of the group, Jeremy Werner. I always like to say Werner because they speak German. But anyways, had a great conversation with Jeremy about how this is going to roll out into PCs and into the data center. Also had a great conversation with one of their end customers in the data center, Bill Cerreta from Pure Storage. And as you know, Pure is one of the only companies that takes raw storage and turns that into storage devices inside of the data center. And they do some really cool stuff with software to improve the reliability, let’s say on QLC memory to make it operate as reliably as DLC and SLC. So that’s single layer, dual layer, and quad. But they have this software wizardry and I urge you to check out the YouTube video that I did with these two folks. But congratulations to Micron. They’re really on a roll, first to DDR5 and getting that product [inaudible] first now to 232-layer NAND and storage. Great job.

Daniel Newman: Yeah. I, first of all, really enjoyed your article on Forbes and your interview. I’d spend half of my free time consuming content that you create without me. A little bit of jealousy. But what else can I do, my friend? I was actually reading through this, though, and I highlighted something because I thought it was great. So for all of our audience, we understand some of you are extremely technical, some of you are on the business end, some of you are here to learn.

So I thought Werner made a great analogy, and you talked about in your article, where you talked about thinking about memory and thinking about the 232-layer NAND like real estate. And so, in a dense metropolitan area, you can’t build wider, think about the large wafer. You have to build vertically, think about stacking, which is becoming an increasingly important trend. So in downtown area, in that highly dense, in New York City, you don’t build out, you build up. A little bit like 232-layer NAND, he thinks of it like a skyscraper. Creates more density [inaudible] layer, 3D NAND is basically enabling Micron to scale and build more efficient skyscrapers. I thought that was great. I mean, like I said, Pat, I read your writing, and then I just copy/paste to make great analysis.

Patrick Moorhead: Some days you’re so gracious and some days you’re not. I do hit up some of your research, I’ll admit.

Daniel Newman: It’s a Friday. I’m feeling good. And, frankly, like I said, I admit when I’m in the learning mode. We were sitting in those quantum briefings this week and I felt like a student in grad school again. And I felt like a student taking a class that I didn’t know a lot about in grad school. And we’re considered two of the foremost thinkers in quantum as analysts, and this stuff is hard. Well, some of this semiconductor stuff is hard too. Just take a tour of a large semiconductor plant and actually look around at the equipment, the lithography, all the things that are happening, and you’re going, “Holy cow. This is so complex.” What was it, Pat? We’re aiming laser beams and stuff. I mean, this stuff is amazing. And the beauty of it is in the end, it’s all about usability.

And so, what Micron is really doing is enabling the compute and data center or the future to be able to keep up with data and storage innovation and make sure that computing can keep up. And that’s really what’s happening here. And to your point, Micron’s been very on the front end, they’re very innovative, and they understand their role in this particular space. And these breakthroughs are really important. But in the end, they’re really important because when you’re serving up these applications, you have all this data you need to access in order to do meaningful work in these applications, storage and memory are an incredibly important part of that. And Micron, to your point, is continuing to move this forward.

Author Information

Daniel is the CEO of The Futurum Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise.

From the leading edge of AI to global technology policy, Daniel makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology investments. Daniel is a top 5 globally ranked industry analyst and his ideas are regularly cited or shared in television appearances by CNBC, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal and hundreds of other sites around the world.

A 7x Best-Selling Author including his most recent book “Human/Machine.” Daniel is also a Forbes and MarketWatch (Dow Jones) contributor.

An MBA and Former Graduate Adjunct Faculty, Daniel is an Austin Texas transplant after 40 years in Chicago. His speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.


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