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Western Digital now sampling world's first 96-layer 3D NAND UFS 2.1 for next generation of smartphones

Western Digital creates world's first 96-layer 3D NAND UFS 2.1 for next generation of smartphones
Western Digital creates world's first 96-layer 3D NAND UFS 2.1 for next generation of smartphones
The embedded flash drive is no different in volume than existing 64-layer solutions for compatibility with a wide range of other consumer devices. Storage capacities begin at 32 GB and top out at 256 GB for high-end smartphone SKUs.

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Western Digital is now mass producing its first 96-layer 3D NAND flash storage for major OEMs to be used on smartphones, tablets, mobile PCs, and other devices. Called the iNAND MC EU321, the module promises very fast sequential read and write rates of 800 MB/s and 550 MB/s, respectively, and a storage capacity of up to 256 GB.

In comparison, the 128 GB UFS 2.1 flash in the Galaxy Note 9 returns sequential read and write rates of about 800 MB/s and 200 MB/s, respectively, according to our own tests on AndroBench. Memory competitors like Samsung and Micron have also been investing in 96-layer 3D NAND throughout the year with differing fabrication methods to achieve similar goals.

Additionally, Western Digital is promising improved performance sustainability when the drive begins to reach full capacity via a small update to its proprietary 5th generation SmartSLC technology (SmartSLC 5.1).

The iNAND MC EU321 supplants last year's 64-layer iNAND MC EU311. It is unknown when we may begin seeing consumer devices sporting the new MC EU321. Since the embedded chip can start as low as 32 GB, its applications can range from cheap tablets like the Nintendo Switch up to high-end next generation smartphones from Apple.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2018 10 > Western Digital now sampling world's first 96-layer 3D NAND UFS 2.1 for next generation of smartphones
Allen Ngo, 2018-10- 9 (Update: 2018-10-10)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.