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SSD Insights Q2/12: 3-bit per cell SSDs - A Gamechanger?

Report No. FI-NFL-SSD-Q212, June 2012

Although client SSDs have registered significant growth in the last few years, its penetration rate in notebook PCs is still less than 5%. High cost is the primary inhibitor to widespread adoption of SSDs as the main storage medium in PCs. As a consequence, PC OEMs have resorted to caching solutions as an economic way to improve system performance, however, the performance benefits still lag that of a pure SSD.

Three-bit per cell (TLC) NAND flash memory offers the promise of reduced cost compared to MLC NAND flash memory. To date, it has been mainly used in UFDs and flash memory cards due to concerns about reliability for embedded applications. However, with improved flash algorithms and advanced ECC techniques, could TLC SSDs be a catalyst for increased SSD adoption?

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