FMS 2023: SK hynix Showcases World’s First 321-Layer NAND Samples & Storage Solutions

By August 16, 2023 No Comments

Figure 1. SK hynix’s booth at FMS 2023 featured some of the company’s latest products and technologies


As the world’s largest memory and storage trade show, the annual Flash Memory Summit (FMS) is renowned for exhibiting revolutionary high-speed memory and SSD products. At FMS 2023 held August 8th-10th at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California, SK hynix continued this legacy of innovation by showcasing groundbreaking memory solutions under the slogan “United Through Technology”. During the event, executives from SK hynix gave a keynote speech to share the companies’ developments in the memory sector.

Leading 4D NAND Solutions Key to the Multimodal AI Era

Figure 2. SK hynix’s EVP and Head of NAND development Jungdal Choi and EVP and Head of Solution Development Hyun Ahn during their keynote speech


On August 8th, SK hynix’s EVP and Head of NAND development Jungdal Choi along with EVP and Head of Solution Development Hyun Ahn gave a keynote speech titled “Industry-Leading 4D NAND Technology and Solutions Enabling the Multimodal AI1 Era”.

1Multimodal AI: Combines various data types (image, text, speech, numerical data, etc.) with multiple intelligence processing algorithms to achieve higher performance levels.

Choi revealed that the company is currently developing the world’s first 321-layer NAND product, the fifth generation of 4D NAND. Choi said that the new product, which is the first in the industry to exceed 300 layers, is set to help the company solidify its technological leadership in NAND. Meanwhile, Ahn introduced the company’s ultra-high performance UFS 4.0 and PCIe 5th generation (Gen5) SSD products for use in data centers and PCs. The continuous development of SSD products is essential as they are set to become an essential storage solution for application with multimodal AI, which analyzes and calculates vast amounts of data on various platforms. The pair concluded by stating that SK hynix is committed to supporting multimodal AI and other advanced technologies by developing next-generation PCIe Gen6 SSDs and UFS 5.0 memory-based products.

Breaking Barriers: Unveiling Pioneering 4D NAND & SSD Solutions

Figure 3. SK hynix’s product line-up, including its 4D NAND solutions, were on display


SK hynix is continually looking to advance its 4D NAND technology in terms of performance and reliability. The company’s development of the industry’s first 96-layer 4D NAND based on charge trap flash2 (CTF) in 2018 became a launchpad for further innovations, leading to the development of its 238-layer 4D NAND four years later in another industry first. Continuing this line of industry firsts, SK hynix showcased samples of its 321-layer 1 Tb 4D NAND, which offers a 59% improvement in productivity compared with the previous generation 238-layer, 512 Gb NAND chips. This improvement was realized by technological developments that enabled the stacking of more cells and a larger storage capacity on a single chip, thereby increasing the total capacity of a single wafer.

The groundbreaking 321-layer NAND product was later presented at SK hynix’s booth along with other NAND solutions, including the company’s PCle3 Gen5 enterprise SSD (eSSD) called PS1030 which utilizes V7 NAND. The PS1030, which was applied to a supermicro server for the demonstration, delivers the fastest sequential read speed in the industry—14,800 MB/s. It also offers a random read performance of 3,300 kIOPS4, highlighting its specifications as a high-performance eSSD.

2Charge trap flash (CTF): Unlike floating gate, which stores electric charges in conductors, CTF stores electric charges in insulators, which eliminates interference between cells, improving read and write performance while reducing cell area per unit compared to floating gate technology.

3Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCle): A serial-structured, high-speed input/output interface used on the motherboard of digital devices.

4Thousand Input/Output Operations Per Second (kIOPS): A measure of how many read and write operations a storage device can perform in a second.

Visitors to the SK hynix booth could also see another one of the company’s SSDs, the PCIe Gen4 PC811.  Applied to a PC for the demonstration, the PC811 is SK hynix’s first V8 NAND-based mainstream client SSD (cSSD). Other SSDs on show included its high-speed Platinum P41, ultra-low power Gold P31, and the company’s first portable SSD for consumers, SK hynix Beetle X31.

Unleashing the Power of HPC With KV-CSD

Figure 4. SK hynix’s Woosuk Chung, team leader for the Computational Storage department, held a session on KV-CSD, which was also displayed at the company’s booth


SK hynix also held the second demonstrations of its pioneering Key Value Store Computational Storage Device (KV-CSD) following on from its debut at last year’s FMS. Co-developed with U.S.-based Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), the KV-CSD is a next-generation intelligent storage product which improves write and read capabilities for high performance computing (HPC).

The impact of the KV-CSD was discussed in a session on August 10th by SK hynix’s Woosuk Chung, team leader for the Computational Storage department. Titled “Architecture of a Query Accelerating KV-CSD in a HPC System”, the talk revealed how the new KV-CSD overcomes the limitations of software key-value stores.

High-Performance Mobile and Automotive Solutions

Figure 5. SK hynix’s mobile and automotive solutions


SK hynix also exhibited its technologies for the mobile and automotive sectors at FMS 2023. The company’s line-up of V7 512 Gb universal flash storage5 (UFS) products was on display, including those based on UFS 2.2, UFS 3.1, and UFS 4.0—the latest specification which offers enhanced bandwidth speed and efficiency. Additionally, the company’s universal multichip package6 (uMCP), which combines its mobile DRAM LPDDR and UFS, was also presented at the booth.

Moving to solutions for the automotive market, SK hynix’s LPDDR5X mobile DRAM and HBM2E DRAM were among the products displayed as they are essential components of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)7. The HBM2E highlights SK hynix’s strength in the automotive sector as it is the only company to develop HBM products specifically for the industry. As well as ADAS, SK hynix’s automotive solutions support other functions. For example, its eMMC 5.1 embedded multimedia card is utilized for in-car connectivity, while its UFS 3.1-based and SSD products are applied for in-vehicle infotainment and storage, respectively.

5Universal Flash Storage (UFS): A breakthrough type of flash memory that can simultaneously read and write data. Due to its low-power consumption, high-performance and reliability, UFS is widely applied in mobile devices.

6Universal multichip package (uMCP): A multi-chip package that combines DRAM and NAND flash into one product.

7Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS): A system that utilizes various technologies to help drivers in routine navigation and parking without fully automating the process.

Never Standing Still

SK hynix always has one eye on the future, and this was exemplified during its successful time at FMS 2023. Despite already offering a range of industry-leading solutions, the company will not rest on its laurels as it aims to further improve it line-up of NAND and other high-performance memories in the future.