GuidesWikiMLC (Multi-Level Cell): All You Need To Know

MLC (Multi-Level Cell): All You Need To Know

MLC or Multi-Level Cell is a type of NAND flash memory that can store two bits of data per cell and is utilized in various electronic devices.

Expert Verified By

In the ever-evolving landscape of PC hardware, one component that often gets overshadowed by processors, graphics cards, and storage devices is the memory type for data storage. To utilize the maximum potential of your PC setup, you should ensure every component can provide top-notch performance, including storage devices. Therefore, you need to understand various memory types to choose the best-performing storage solution. Multi-Level Cell (MLC) memory is one of those types that we will explore in this guide.

Also Read: What Are SSD Read/Write Speeds?

Key Takeaways

  • MLC or Multi-Level Cell is a type of NAND flash memory that can store two bits of data per cell.
  • The primary advantage of MLC over SLC is its decent enough performance and reliability at a comparatively low price.
  • MLC NAND flash memory is commonly present in solid-state drives (SSDs), USB flash drives, and memory cards.

What Is MLC?

Multi-Level Cell - an overview
Multi-Level Cell – an overview (Image Credits -ScienceDirect Topics)

Multi-Level Cell (MLC) is a type of non-volatile storage medium (NAND flash memory) used in various electronic devices, including SSDs, USB drives, and memory cards. The key feature that sets MLC apart from other types is its ability to store multiple data bits in each memory cell[1]. Specifically, MLC can store two bits per cell, making it a more efficient and cost-effective solution than Single-Level Cell (SLC) memory, which only stores one bit per cell[2].


If you pay attention to the details of your storage solution, you will encounter various types of cell technology in use. Therefore, I have briefly compared the three common cell types used in modern storage solutions like SSDs. 

SLC (Single-Level Cell) stores only one piece or bit of data in one cell MLC (Multi-Level Cell) stores two pieces or bits of data in one cell TLC (Triple-Level Cell) stores three pieces or bits of data in one cell
Offers superior performance when compared with MLC and TLC Offers good performance but not better than SLC Offers reasonable performance for most applications
It is known for high reliability and endurance It has moderate endurance It has comparatively low endurance
Expensive Moderate price Economical

Where Is MLC Used?

Kingston Fury Renegade 2TB NVMe SSD - Top View
Kingston Fury Renegade 2TB NVMe SSD. Image Credits (Tech4Gamers)

Read out: What Is An SSD Controller?

Multi-Level Cell (MLC) memory is present in various electronic devices where a balance between cost and performance is essential[3]. It is a popular choice in consumer-grade SSDs for laptops and desktop computers due to their price-to-performance ratio. MLC-based SSDs help these devices boot up quickly, load applications faster, and store data efficiently.

High-quality USB flash drives also contain MLC memory, providing faster data transfer speeds and a longer lifespan. Furthermore, digital cameras and smartphones use MLC memory in their memory cards.

Related Helpful Resources By Tech4Gamers:


  1. Multi-level cell (dpedia). Retrieved from
  2. SLC vs. MLC: An Analysis of Flash Memory. Retrieved from
  3. J.R. Jameson & M. Van Buskirk (2014). Minimum stored charge and MLC. Retrieved from
Was our article helpful? 👨‍💻

Thank you! Please share your positive feedback. 🔋

How could we improve this post? Please Help us. 😔

Related articles

Buying DDR5 RAM? You Should Pay Attention To AMD EXPO/Intel XMP

Confused about what the AMD EXPO/Intel XMP labels on your RAM refer to? Here’s why your DDR5 RAM might not be performing at its rated speeds.

Is It Worth Upgrading To LGA 1700 Now?

As we await the launch of Intel’s 15th Generation CPUs (based exclusively on DDR5), we discuss if it’s worth upgrading to LGA 1700 nowadays.

Why 32GB RAM Is The New Standard For Gaming In 2024

At $70 for 32 GB RAM DDR4 and $100 for DDR5, it's evident that 32 GB RAM is coveted to be the new default gaming standard in 2024. Let me tell you why.

Is Higher RAM Speed Always Better For Gaming? Here’s What I Think

Do you actually need a RAM as fast as 8000 MHz in 2024? Here is whether you should upgrade to a faster RAM for gaming.

Wear Leveling: Explanation & Types

The wear-levelling technique, as apparent by name, evenly distributes the data across all the memory cells of NAND flash memory so that no single cell wears out faster than others.

Similar Guides