DRAMeXchange's TrendForce says TLC NAND flash will account for nearly half of the total NAND flash output in 4Q15. TLC NAND is now used in eMMC/eMCP and SSD. TLC NAND flash is more used now in applications such as cell phones, tablets, and other consumer electronics. TLC NAND flash is also used in iPhone6/6 Plus.
Though Samsung lead in this advanced NAND flash chip production, other semiconductor vendors are also in very close competition.
Micron said it had jointly developed 3D NAND technology with Intel, which is three times higher capacity than competing NAND technologies. Intel and Micron are using floating gate cell in 3D NAND for higher performance in terms of quality and reliability.
Micron is sampling 256Gb MLC version of 3D NAND to select partners now, and the 384Gb TLC design is expected to be sampled later this spring. Micron has already begun initial fab production runs, and expects both devices in full production by the fourth quarter of this year.
Another leader in this area SanDisk/Toshiba said they have successfully developed its 48 layer second generation 3D NAND (BiCS2). Pilot production is scheduled in second half of 2015 and commercial production targeted for 2016.