Solid state storage tends to be faster, less power-hungry, and less likely to break if dropped on the floor than hard drive storage. That’s why SSDs have become popular choices for tablet and notebook makers.
But SSDs still tend to be more expensive than hard drives on a price-per-gigabyte basis. They also don’t tend to offer as much storage. But Intel and Micron have unveiled new technology they say will address the capacity issue by enabling SSDs with up to 10 terabytes of storage space.
The companies say 3D NAND technology will allow SSD makers to cram more than 3 times as much storage into the same amount of physical space.
That means a 2.5 inch SSD could support 10TB of data or more, while the smaller types of SSDs used in tablets and ultrabooks could support up to 3.5 terabytes.
The price issue may be another matter. Intel says first-generation 3D NAND will be more cost efficient to produce than planar NAND. But it’ll have to be go a long way to really make a dent in the price discrepancy between SSD and HDD storage.
Intel says it’s sampling 256Gb mult-level cell 3D NAND SSDs to partners today, with 384Gb designs coming later this spring.
We should start to see solid state drives with 3D NAND flash by the end of 2015.