During a recent webcast to investors, Intel executives revealed plans for three-dimensional NAND flash memory to be incorporated in its solid-state drives for future products. The SSDs would be the largest commercial products of their kind, and the breakthrough in flash storage means that 10 terabyte SSD’s could become a reality within the next two years.
The massive high-speed storage is possible because of 3D NAND memory, which allows for the stacking of multiple levels of memory on top of one another. The memory, developed in partnership with Micron, allows for up to 32 layers of NAND flash, theoretically providing 48GB of storage on a single die, single up from the equivalent 16GB achieved by Samsung on its V-NAND equivalent.
As it currently stands SSDs are still exorbitantly priced in comparison to similarly sized hard disc drives, costing many times more per gigaybte. The breakthrough in 3D NANA technology could potentially narrow or eliminate this gap completely, and encourage SSD’s to become an industry standard, potentially as soon as 2018.
Intel wouldn’t be draw on exact pricing for its first wave of 3D NAND SSDs other than claiming that its impact would prove “disruptive” to its competitors, and provided at a “breakthrough cost”. As it stands a 1TB SSD currently retails for upwards of £300, with some even going for more than £600, 10 times more expensive than an internal drive.
Can 3D memory not come quick enough? Fed up by massive game install sizes and resisting the urge to splash out on an expensive SSD? Let us know!