According to reports, Micron Technology has completed the tape-out of the fourth-generation 3D NAND memory chip, which is based on Micron's new RG architecture and will be produced in 2020. However, Micron claims that memory chips using the new architecture will only be used for specific applications.
The fourth generation of 3D NAND uses up to 128 active layers and continues to use CMOS in array design methods. New 3D NAND memory chips have changed the floating gate technology for gate replacement in an attempt to reduce size and cost while improving performance and simplifying the transition to next-generation nodes. The technology was developed entirely by Micron, without any investment from Intel, so it is likely to be tailored to the applications that Micron hopes to target.
The success of the fourth-generation 128-layer 3D NAND tape-out shows that Micron's new design is more than just a concept. However, Micron has no plans to convert all of its product lines into RG processes, so the cost per bit of its products will not drop significantly next year. Nonetheless, the company promises to begin to reduce costs by fiscal year 2021 after extensive deployment of its subsequent RG process nodes.