NAND Flash

NAND flash memory types

NAND flash devices are used to store data and code. Read more below to help you choose the right NAND device for your needs.

NAND flash technology and applications

Low-density NAND flash is ideal for applications like automotive, machine-to-machine, IPC and home networking. High-density NAND flash is most commonly used in data-heavy applications like SSDs, tablets and USB drives.

There is a continuous effort to reduce the cost/GB of NAND devices, so device life cycles tend to be shorter with more frequent process lithography shrinks. NAND requires a controller, either internal or external, and specific firmware for error code correction (ECC), bad block management, and wear leveling.

NAND flash devices. Raw NAND vs Fully Managed NAND


Raw NAND provides the lowest cost per bit but requires an external host controller (not contained within the package) to perform all management functions (e.g., ECC, FTL).

Single-level cell (SLC)

One bit per cell; high performance and write endurance; designed for high-end, high-density, mission-critical systems where NAND high performance standards and reliability are required and cost reduction is not a major driver

Serial NAND

Low-density SLC devices with a NOR-like serial interface to simplify system design 

Multilevel cell (MLC)

Two bits per cell; a good balanced of performance and write endurance for a wide range of cost-sensitive, high-density applications 

Embedded MLC+ NAND

Uses special programming algorithms to extend write endurance; typically used in high-write workloads like time shifting (pausing live TV) 

Triple-level cell (TLC)

Three bits per cell; high cell density, but lower performance and endurance specifications; most often used in mass storage consumer applications (e.g., client SSDs, USB drives or SD cards) with very high cost sensitivity

Quad-level cell (QLC)

Four bits per cell; high cell density, but impact on latency more than throughput; most often used in applications that demand high-density mass storage (e.g., enterprise applications) with cost sensitivity

Managed NAND

Managed NAND provides simpler solutions and speeds time-to-market because the controller is embedded within the package to handle wear leveling, bad block management and ECC.

e.MMC memory

High-capacity NAND flash device combined with a high-speed MultiMediaCard (MMC) controller in a single BGA package; suitable for designers looking for a fully managed device and ease of design for MMC-like, application-to-application interoperability for a wide range of networking, industrial, and automotive applications 


Hybrid between raw and fully managed NAND; ECC is integrated while wear leveling and bad block management are handled by the host controller 

Solid state drives

NAND-based drives that enhance reliability, reduce power, and provide faster performance compared to hard disk drives (HDDs)

Universal flash storage (UFS)

UFS is a high-performance storage interface for applications that require faster sequential & random performance  over eMMC with low power consumption

Secure digital card (SD), micro SD/USB

SD, microSD cards and USB flash drives are ideal for applications that require flash memory to be easily removed or installed


More and more NAND Flash memory is being used in multichip packages (MCPs) where it is paired with Mobile LPDRAM in a variety of form factors. NAND/LPDRAM MCPs are offered in densities of 1GB to 4GB for SLC NAND and 1GB to 8GB for e.MMC™ embedded memory.

Open NAND Flash Interface (ONFI)

The Open NAND Flash Interface (ONFI) is a collaboration among Micron and many other NAND Flash suppliers, controller manufacturers, and designers. The primary goal of the ONFI working group is to develop open standards for the interface used to communicate with NAND Flash memory—standards that will increase compatibility and interoperability among conforming NAND devices from different vendors. This, in turn, will increase the supply base for standard devices, reduce design time, and speed time to market.


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