“SLC, MLC, TLC, and QLC” Differences & Flash memory knowledge Popularization

Table of Contents

Reading Guide: SLC, MLC, TLC and QLC, four kinds of flash chip architectures, with various extensions such as 3-bit MLC,3-bit TLC, which vary in speed and lifetime.

NAND flash memory is a better storage solution than hard disk in recent years.
NAND is proving to be extremely attractive as people continue to pursue products with lower power consumption, lighter weight, and better performance.
NAND flash memory chip plays a buffering role in SSD, which has a great impact on the overall performance of SSD.
NAND flash memory is the most critical factor affecting SSD.

TLC architecture was introduced in 2009, representing a memory storage unit that can store 3 bits, further significantly reducing the cost.
Like the emergence of MLC technology, after the war triggered by Toshiba, a well-known manufacturer of NAND Flash, Samsung Electronics quickly joined the war, making the whole TLC technology mass-produced to terminal devices, but it was not until October 2012 that the first SSD using TCL NAND flash memory chip interviewed and pulled up the curtain of competition among the three chips in SSD.

Although TLC chip has larger storage capacity and much lower cost, it can only be used in low-level NAND Flash-related products at the beginning of technological development, such as low-speed flash memory card, small memory card microSD or portable disc.

The threshold of solid-state disk (SSD) technology is high, and it pays attention to high-speed and error-free application products such as NAND Flash performance. Although Samsung has launched SSD, of TCL NAND flash memory chip, the specific performance still has to stand the test of the market.
Let’s take a look at the differences between four architecture chips:

SLC = Single-Level Cell, that is, 1 bit/cell, its structure is simple, but its execution efficiency is high, the biggest characteristic is fast speed, long life, high price (about 3 times the price of MLC), about 100000 times erase life.
It is quite common on enterprise SSD, such as the classic Intel X25Mui E series, and it is also used on some high-end USB drives. We often supply those SLC NAND flash to industrial customers with high requirements.

MLC = Multi-Level Cell, that is, 2 bit SLC cell, which has four rechargeable charges, so it takes more access time than SLC.
Its biggest feature is that the speed of the general life is general, the price is general, about 3000murmur10000 times erase and write life.

TLC = Trinary-Level Cell, that is, 3bit Trinary-Level Cell, each unit can store more data than MLC, with a total of eight charging values, and there are also Flash manufacturers called 8LC. The biggest feature is that the speed is slow, the life span is short, the price is cheap, and the life span is about 500. at present, no manufacturer can achieve 1000 times.
Usually used on portable storage devices such as flash drives or memory cards

QLC = Quad-Level Cell architecture and appearance, that is, 4bit Quad-Level Cell cell, which supports 16 charging values, the slowest speed, and the shortest life span.

DiskMFR Field Sales Manager - Leo

It’s Leo Zhi. He was born on August 1987. Major in Electronic Engineering & Business English, He is an Enthusiastic professional, a responsible person, and computer hardware & software literate. Proficient in NAND flash products for more than 10 years, critical thinking skills, outstanding leadership, excellent Teamwork, and interpersonal skills.  Understanding customer technical queries and issues, providing initial analysis and solutions. If you have any queries, Please feel free to let me know, Thanks

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