A CDE Definition
(MultiLevel Cell) A NAND flash memory technology that stores two bits per cell. The original flash memory technology, known as "single level cell" (SLC), uses one voltage threshold to define the two states of the bit (0 or 1). Multilevel cell (MLC) flash memory stores two bits in a cell (MLC), and trilevel cell (TLC) stores three bits, which is accomplished by being able to detect four and eight voltage levels respectively (see below). However, the more bits in a single cell, the less reliable the drive (see SSD write cycle). See NAND flash, StrataFlash and TRIM support.
Consumer MLC (cMLC) and Enterprise MLC (eMLC)
MLC generally refers to consumer MLC (cMLC), while enterprise MLC (eMLC) chips provide greater durability for servers, which handle huge volumes of reads and writes. Enterprise MLC drives feature faster transfer rates and extensive error detection and correction.
Even More Cells - From 2D to 3D
The multilevel cell technology doubled and tripled the number of bits per cell; however, moving from 2D single layer flash to 3D fabrication dramatically increased storage capacity (see NAND flash).
Single Level Cell (SLC) - One Bit
MLC and eMLC - Two Bits
Mainstream flash memory.
TriLevel Cell (TLC) - Three Bits
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