ComputingStorageStorage: Guides

V-NAND vs. 3D NAND. Is There a Difference?

v-nand vs 3d nand

Solid-State Drives (SSDs) are perfectly positioned to supersede conventional Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) as the primary storage device in PCs and laptops.

The rapid surge in storage space has resulted in a plethora of new terminologies like NAND vs. NVMe, V-NAND or 3D NAND that can be confusing to potential customers, leading them to settle for things they hear are excellent or that were good at one time but are now outdated.

Everything SSDs offer significantly outweighs whatever benefits HDDs had previously, and there’s a reason for that.

SSD manufacturers employ V-NAND and 3D NAND technologies to lower the cost per bit while also increasing maximum chip capacity, allowing them to compete with HDDs in terms of pricing effectively.

HDDs are big and employ loud rotating magnetic discs that are not as energy efficient as we would want. The omission of these moving components is perhaps the genius of SSDs.

As a result, OEM manufacturers will be able to design progressively smaller form factors that are much smaller than an average RAM chip.

You should already know that SSDs make no noises and consume far less power than their HDD equivalents. The V-NAND flash memory technology is the cause of this magic.

How can one comprehend NAND flash, specifically V-NAND vs. 3D NAND, with so many names for distinct terms? Here are some explanations to help you better understand NAND, especially 3D NAND vs. V-NAND.


If you look back before 2015, the history will reveal that there is no difference between 3D NAND and V-NAND and that they both relate to the same thing.

It’s just that the first one has a little more “3D” to it. The term V-NAND, or 3D Vertical NAND, simply refers to the fact that NAND cells are stacked vertically to make use of the three-dimensional nature of space. They both relate to NAND memory that is stacked vertically on top of each other.

As it’s known, V-NAND is a marketing term for 3D NAND established by Samsung in 2013, when they were the first to put functional 3D NAND cells on devices, indicating the end of the SSD storage pricing war.

This was a pivotal milestone in the development of fast storage devices because vertically stacking the cells allowed for more storage at a cheaper cost, resulting in the benefits we experience today.

Even the cheapest SSDs may now have up to 2TB storage capacities, allowing users to build PCs with quick and dependable storage.

3D V-NAND SSD Technology

Multiple flash memory cell layers are layered vertically and three-dimensionally on a single NAND chip in V-NAND, also known as 3D V-NAND. The chips in question have 36, 48, 72, 64, and now 96 layers of flash cells vertically stacked.

The technique employs either 3D charge trap flash (CTF) cells with vertical channel holes, constructed in a pyramid or stair-step-edged structure, or more traditional floating-gate MOSFET technology.

Vertical stacking allows for a higher cell density in a given volume than 2D design. A word of clarification: the cell layers are stacked, not the chips themselves.

As a result, we can have larger capacity SSDs without having to increase the RAM.

This also reduces the amount of power used by linked memory cells. It allows for the production of more efficient SSDs with increased storage capacity.

All of this is accomplished without incurring the usual adverse effects of NAND lithography shrinking to fewer process nodes, such as interference, durability, and performance.

Modern SSDs Are Vertically Stacked

All SSD manufacturers now use vertical stacking mainly because of the efficiency that is associated with 3D NAND. It allows both producers and end consumers to have larger storage capacities at cheaper costs.

SSDs prices vary, some are cheaper than the others, but this is due to the kind of NAND cell used; some varieties are more efficient at reading and writing, but they’re more costly.

The truth is that it is the best SSD for the use case and price range, but not the best SSD overall. Vertically stacked SSDs improve storage capacity, but performance and reliability suffer from more bits per NAND cell.

3D NAND and V-NAND Are the Same

For consumer devices, most SSDs are now vertically stacked to maximize storage capacity. Some drives are smaller, quicker, and more costly, but they employ a different type of NAND cell (SLC, for example).

Typically, these drives are utilized as enterprise solutions, such as server drives that require continual read/write access.

For the ordinary user, who now understands that V-NAND and 3D NAND are the same thing, a cheap, fast SSD will suffice for everyday usage unless a professional utilizes an SSD often for reading/writing operations, such as audio and video editing pros.

About author

A finance major with a passion for all things tech, Uneeb loves to write about everything from hardware to games (his favorite genre being FPS). When not writing, he can be seen in his natural habitat reading, studying investments, or watching Formula 1.
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