Graybeards talk NAND & future memory technologies with Jim Handy, Director at Objective Analysis

In this podcast we discuss NAND and other NVM technology with Jim Handy, noted blogger (at, and Director of Objective Analysis. Howard, Jim and I were all at Micron in mid-February to discuss their latest focus on 3D NAND and enterprise storage and we thought it would be a good time to discuss what’s happening in the NAND space. Jim is primarily a chip and memory technology guy so he comes at this with a lot more chip level technical depth than most of our previous guests.

Jim and the GreyBeards get a bit technical early, talking about how they fabricate 3D NAND chips and the depth and width of the holes needed to support 3D NAND technology  (talk about deep into the technology). It turns out most NAND vendors have another planar NAND chip technology that they can roll out.  Micron stated that the current chip technology would be their last planar NAND technology and they would move after this to 3D. The rest of the industry seems to be taking a slower path but will no doubt get there eventually.

In addition, Jim describes what it means to be SLC, MLC and TLC and how each can be configured on chip so that some NAND pages are SLC, some MLC and the rest TLC. Also, It turns out with current NAND controller technology, TLC NAND can have better endurance than SLC that was shipped 5 years ago.

However, SLC still has faster access due primarily needing less NAND read “settling” times and faster read after writes. NAND has settling time?

We spend some time talking about next generation, non-volatile memory systems.  Jim mentioned that the first time he heard about these technologies was in the 80’s (yes, Jim’s an official GreyBeard). He believes we probably won’t see anything displace NAND until the last 3D NAND makes it’s appearance, sometime after 2023, maybe. But, there’s still a lot of investment in Silicon and don’t count Silicon based NAND technology out just yet. Listen to the podcast to learn more…

This months episode ran a bit longer than normal, over 49 minutes, when GreyBeards get together it’s hard to keep things short … 🙂 

Jim Handy, Director Objective Analysis

JH Mug BWJim Handy of Objective Analysis has over 35 years in the electronics industry including 20 years as a leading semiconductor and SSD industry analyst. Early in his career he held marketing and design positions at leading semiconductor suppliers including Intel, National Semiconductor, and Infineon.

A frequent presenter at trade shows, Mr. Handy is known for his technical depth, accurate forecasts, widespread industry presence and volume of publication. He has written hundreds of market reports, articles for trade journals, and white papers, and is frequently interviewed and quoted in the electronics trade press and other media.  He posts blogs at, and