Samsung has been known for its industry breakthroughs with smartphones that are thinner and lighter than ever, but the Korean giant’s commitment to technological advancement stretches inside mobile devices to computer chips that power not only smartphones but also PCs, servers, and other devices.

Samsung has been known for its 48-layer cell array, vertical NAND-stacked flash solutions but started developing a 64-layer, 256GB V-NAND flash memory SSD for IT personnel earlier this year. The company is now prepared to bring its 64-layer chips to mobile and consumer solutions on a large scale. This new V-NAND flash memory will make its way to SSDs, UFS, and external memory cards later this year.

To understand how big of a deal 64-layer, 256GB V-NAND flash memory storage is, we have to understand the importance of layers and V-NAND (named for “vertical” stacking). This three-dimensional (3D), vertical stacking of layers prevents cell-to-cell interference which was a common occurrence in the old 2D NAND structure and caused data corruption apart from complex program algorithms. Think of the old 2D NAND flash stacking as patching up a leaking roof, with problems being created to fix the stacking problem.

The new vertical stacking has shifted the paradigm in the industry because it significantly reduces the risk of data corruption and also brings with it an elimination of cell-to-cell interference with no need to develop complex program algorithms. The result of the new 64-layer, 256GB V-NAND flash is a 30% gain in productivity, a 33% gain in energy efficiency, and a 20% gain in reliability over its planar 2D NAND predecessor.

The Korean giant has researched V-NAND 3D structure for 15 years, with over 500 patents filed on the subject. The new 64-layer, 3-bit, 256GB V-NAND flash memory chips are said to perform at 1Gigabit (Gbps) speeds, but Samsung intends to stack over 90 layers of cell arrays in the future, with a speed increase to 1Terabit (Tbps).

Samsung’s 64-layer, 3-bit 256GB V-NAND flash memory chips with their 1Gbps speeds are the fastest in the industry, with the industry’s shortest page program time (500 microseconds) and 1.5 times the speed of Samsung’s current 48-layer 3-bit 256GB V-NAND flash.