SuperMLC

Introduction

Nowadays, a NAND flash can store one, two, or three bits of data per cell. They are respectively called Single-Level Cell (SLC), Multi-Level Cell (MLC), and Triple-Level Cell (TLC). Amongst the three, SLC flash has the best performance, endurance and reliability. However, the cost of SLC is also the highest compared to MLC and TLC. See Table 1.

Note: P/E cycles vary by NAND flash type and manufacturing process node

Transcend has exclusively developed SuperMLC technology, offering performance almost equivalent to SLC NAND flash. Though the total capacity is reduced, Transcend’s SuperMLC NAND greatly boosts speeds, endurance and reliability at lower prices.

How does SuperMLC work?

Each MLC cell holds 2 bits of data - 00, 01, 10 or 11, while a SLC cell holds just 1 bit - 0 or 1. Between SLC and MLC NAND, Transcend’s SuperMLC technology exclusively adjusts the firmware coding and reprograms the two bits per cell of MLC into one bit per cell, just like SLC NAND. See Figure 1.

Advantages of SuperMLC

With just one bit of data per cell, Transcend’s SuperMLC flash can speed up data access, offering sequential write speed up to twice faster than MLC flash chips. See Figure 2. In addition, SuperMLC flash is more reliable, more fault-tolerant and 10 times more durable than MLC, providing up to 30,000 Program/Erase (P/E) cycles*. SuperMLC increases the lifespan of SSD’s and memory cards, making it ideal for industrial and enterprise usages.
* Varies by testing environment and methods

Endurance Test

The lifespan of a flash memory device is measured by a limited number of P/E cycles. Transcend utilizes an internal endurance test tool to ensure the endurance of its SuperMLC NAND flash. As a result, each SuperMLC flash in SSDs and memory cards can endure an average of 30,000 P/E cycles without any error. See Table 2.

Summary

Transcend’s SuperMLC technology is a cost-effective solution that meets the balance between performance, endurance, reliability and price, ideal for industrial and enterprise usage.

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