3D NAND flash is a fantastic solution to the death of Moore’s law.
Instead of trying to butt heads with the innate problems and complications of technological progress through the shrinking of transistors—in this case, the transistors that make up each memory cell in NAND flash memory—and thereby increasing memory cell density, 3D NAND flash views progress as a case of efficiency of the space already available.
That’s an oversimplification of 3D NAND flash, but the result of which is companies like Samsung and Toshiba using it to great effect, creating SSDs with up to 4TB of storage. Samsung 48 layer V-NAND (essentially Samsung’s version of 3D NAND) SSDs are an example of exactly that.
But if SSDs are to reach 128TB by 2018, we’re going to have to see much larger capacities than that in 2016, if that original time frame proposed by Toshiba is to be believed.
Happily, thanks to Micron’s work with 3D NAND technology, Intel may very well launch 2.5 inch SSDs with a capacity of 10TB, reports Betanews, although no timeline has been confirmed.
The 10TB drives may not even come from Intel first, as Micron could at any time use their chips in their own SSDs.
Keep in mind that the first 10TB drives to market will undoubtedly be enterprise drives, and in no way designed for use by consumers. They will also be catastrophically expensive for the average joe – rightly so.
However, their release and further improvement of the technology should see lower capacity drives drop in price, which is good news for us.
We’re more curious about 3D Xpoint technology, collaboratively created by Intel and Micron.
Optane SSDs, the name given to drives powered by 3D Xpoint memory, are supposed to be 1000x faster and 10x denser than traditional SSD memory; that’s something we can’t wait to see.