3D Nand – The Need of the Hour for Data Storage Solution

There are two types of NAND memories in the market – 2D NAND, also known as Planar NAND, and 3D NAND. NAND is a type of memory that is increasingly becoming popular since it does not require any power source to retain the data. 3D NAND is allowing the original equipment manufacturers (OEM’s) or the end-users to attain higher performance, endurance, and efficiency in comparison to the 2D NAND. Moreover, since it is stacked vertically, it tends to have more capacity than 2D NAND within the same dimensions, thus, consuming less power, reading the data faster, and cost relatively less per gigabyte. As such, it is increasingly finding applications in the smartphone market, more particularly, among the premium range. For instance, Apple, Inc. uses Toshiba’s 3D NAND 96L Die in its iPhone 11 ProMax, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Model (512GB – US, 512GB – China,256GB – China) while it uses SK Hynix 3D NAND 72L Die in its iPhone 11 model (256 GB, US). Similar trends have been observed in the Samsung’s Galaxy series with the company incorporating V-NAND 512GB Die in its Samsung Galaxy S10+ models with the 3D NAND flash memory market projected to grow at a CAGR of 15.86% between 2018-2024.

3D NAND flash memory market


Transforming Data Storage in Data Centers

The continuous penetration of the digital world is bringing significant pressures on the data storage requirement of the firms. Thus, there has been a growing focus on increasing the data storage ability within the data centers. Since 3D NAND are vertically stacked, it allows more data to be stored per server while also delivering higher input-output operation per second per terabyte. In fact, the number of data centers is growing globally.

Data Created Everyday (In Billion GB)

3D NAND flash memory market

Source: Knowledge Sourcing Intelligence Analysis

Moreover, the estimated energy consumption share of data centers is expected to increase from 1.1% of the total energy use in 2012 to 2.5% energy use in 2020 (source: Asian Development Bank), indicating rising operational demands on the data centers. Simultaneously, the cloud storage market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 28.49% during 2015-2023 (source: Knowledge Sourcing Intelligence Analysis). Moreover, the amount of data generated every day has increased from 39.151 billion GB in 2016 to 74.438 billion GB in 2019, thus supplementing the 3D NAND flash memory market growth.

Recent Market Developments

  • Transcent Information Inc. – a manufacturer of embedded memory products, launched a new line of solid-state drives in July 2020 that features the 96-layer 3D NAND flash.
  • In June 2020, Samsung announced its plans to expand the manufacturing facility dedicated to V-NAND, also known as Vertical NAND, production to meet the growing demand originating from the data center, and mobile device applications.
  • In April 2020, Yangze Memory Technologies Co. (YMTC) introduced its 128-layer 1.33Tb QLC 3D-NAND flash memory – X2-6070 that is claimed to have the highest I/O speed and bit density in the industry.
  • Sk Hynix Inc. confirmed that it will be transferring its existing NAND flash capacity to 3D NAND in its first-quarter results announced in April 2020.
  • Western Digital Corporation announced in January 2020 that it has developed its 5th generation 3D NAND technology BiCS5 which is built on triple-level-cell (TLC) and quad-level-cell (QLC) and is considered ideal for applications associated with mobile devices, connected cars, and artificial intelligence.
  • In August 2019, Samsung Electronics announced the mass production of 250 GB SATA SSD that integrates the company’s 6th generation 256 GB three-bit V-NAND for PC OEM’s.
  • Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation launched advanced high voltage CD-SEM “CV6300 Series” in July 2019 that enables the measurement of high aspect ratio deep holes and trench bottoms dimensions that is primarily useful while manufacturing 96 layers or higher 3D NAND flash memory.
  • Virtium LLC – a provider of memory and SSD solutions for the industrial internet of things (IIOT) market expanded its portfolio of StoryFly® family of SSD to include industrial-grade 3D NAND based drives.
  • In May 2019, Toshiba Memory Corporation and Western Digital Corporation announced that they have finalized the agreement to jointly invest in the K1 manufacturing facility producing 3D flash memory located in Kitakami, Japan.
  • Micron Technology, Inc. recently opened its NAND flash memory fabrication facility in Singapore – adding 255,000 square feet to cater to the growing demand from consumer electronics applications.

Asia Pacific Driving the Revenue Generation Opportunity

The demand for a data storage solution is increasing in China as the number of local companies is seeking to expand their operation globally in a cost-effective manner and thus, storing data on the cloud allows them to put a major proportion of their resources in building other important infrastructure. Moreover, the gradual reduction in industrial electricity prices and focus on improving the overall efficiency of the data centers is anticipated to increase the number of data centers in the country. Furthermore, China is the world’s largest smartphone market while it is also the world’s biggest automaker. In fact, it estimated that more than one-fifth of the vehicles sold in China have connected functionality. Simultaneously, in Japan, with the growing aging population in the country, technology firms are developing connected devices that record data on the cloud that can be accessed easily. For instance, Panasonic Corporation has developed a microwave resembling machines called Calo Rieco that calculates dish total calories and will store data on the cloud to suggest changes as and when required which could be useful for diabetic patients. In general, the demand for connected devices has been increasing in Japan rapidly over the years. Simultaneously, growing focus by the government of India to boost domestic manufacturing of smartphones is influencing the market in the country. Moreover, the rising number of internet users in India is driving storage needs. Simultaneously, the regulation requiring the data to be stored in the local Indian servers is projected to drive the data center space in the country, thus boosting the 3D NAND flash memory market.


Siddharth David is a Senior Market Research Analyst at Knowledge Sourcing Intelligence LLP. Siddharth’s expertise lies in offering predictive analysis and an all-inclusive outlook of different industry verticals from both the macro and micro point of view, with the special knack in market sizing and delivering key strategic insights. To read more articles by him, and for more information regarding multiple global markets, visit www.knowledge-sourcing.com.