5-Bit PLC SSDs Not Coming Until 2025, or Later: Western Digital

Both Intel and Toshiba have become increasingly confident in their projections for the debut of PLC flash, which packs in five bits per cell to reduce SSD pricing, but Western Digitial recently downplayed the feasibility of PLC SSDs before 2025.

WD says this type of memory will only become viable sometime in the second half of this decade when SSD controllers become more advanced. The claim contradicts other 3D NAND suppliers that believe 3D PLC SSDs could rival hard drives in the next few years. 

Each new type of flash brings reduced SSD pricing, but as we’ve seen with QLC NAND, that can lead to big reductions in endurance and performance. That takes some of the shine off of a future transition to PLC (Penta Level Cell) flash that packs in five bits per cell to reduce pricing but results in even lower endurance and performance.

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