WD and Toshiba worked together to introduce 96-Layer 3D QLC NAND in the market. After a while now, WD is finally starting shipments based on this technology. One of the great benefits of 3D QLC NAND is the high capacity storage with low costs. Currently, WD 3D QLC NAND offers the highest 3D NAND capacity in the market with 1.33TB on a single chip. But WD will focus on such high capacity chips a bit later. Devices such as external SSDs, flash drives, memory cards, etc. will be the first priority.
WD uses BiCS4 QLC technology in these 96-layer 3D NAND chips whereas their 64-layer QLC NAND chips use BiCS3 technology. Because of this new second-generation WD QLC technology, the price per GB will drop down and the storage capacities would rise up. Since QLC technology uses 4 bits per cell, it is denser and that benefit comes at the cost of endurance. TLC offers better endurance than QLC but if you don’t deal with extra huge files, it should not be a problem.
As of now, it is not very clear about the products that use WD 96-Layer 3D QLC NAND technology. According to Western Digital, the price of the storage devices (such as SSDs) that uses this technology, will compete with high performing HDDs. Unfortunately, the shipments for high capacity SSDs will begin after a while. So if you’re waiting for a high capacity cost effective QLC SSD, you might have to wait a bit more.
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