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Apple blames TLC NAND for iPhone 6 defects, picks substitute

Posted: 10 Nov 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:iPhone 6? TLC NAND? MLC? SLC?

There will be no iPhone 6 recall in the offing, but Apple will discontinue the use of triple-level cell (TLC) NAND in some of its models due to growing concerns over the new phone's functional defects, Business Korea reported.

The U.S. tech giant believes a problem in the controller IC of the TLC NAND flash causes the numerous failings of the 64GB iPhone 6 and the 128GB iPhone 6+, according to industry sources. Anobit Technologies, an Israeli semiconductor start-up acquired by Apple in 2011, is said to be the maker of the controller IC being suspected of defects.

TLC NAND flash is a kind of solid-state NAND flash memory capable of storing three bits of data per cell, three times more than single-level cell (SLC) that can store one bit of data and 1.5 times more than multi-level cell (MLC) that can store two bits of data. In addition, it is less expensive but is slower in reading and writing data than the other two solid-state flash memories.

To solve the problem, MLC NAND flash will take the place of the TLC NAND in the next batches of 64GB iPhone 6 and 128GB iPhone 6+. For those smartphones that have been purchased already, Apple is planning to provide the iOD8.1.1 update before the year ends to improve the devices in question.

All of the 128GB models used TLC NAND, while the 16GB version of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+, and some of the 64GB units, used MLC NAND. The U.S. smartphone company chose the TLC NAND for some of its models in order to cut costs.

- Stephen Padilla
??EE Times Asia

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