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Storage

Stop sacrificing storage for price with Western Digital's new SSD technology

More layers means more memory in less space -- and for less money.

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If you like solid-state drives that use 3D vertical NAND flash memory, like the Samsung SSD 850 Evo or the Crucial MX300, here's some good news: there will soon be more of them.

Western Digital today announced that it, in collaboration with Toshiba, has successfully developed next-gen 3D NAND, called BiCS3, which stacks memory cells vertically in 64 layers (compared to 32 layers of the Samsung and Crucial drives).

If you think of each memory cell as a person, then 3D NAND is like a high-rise apartment. The more floors (layers) there are, the more people you can house in the same patch of land. That said, Western Digital says BiCS3 will be initially deployed in 256-gigabit capacity and will be available in a range of capacities up to half a terabit on a single chip. This means BiCS3 will likely translate into ultra high-capacity SSDs at low prices. The Samsung SSD 850 Evo drive is currently available in up to 4TB of storage space.

Western Digital says storage products that use BiCS3 will be available in the first half of 2017. Back in May the company bought SanDisk, a major manufacturer of flash storage products such as SD cards and SSDs.

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