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.

3d nand flash

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.

Right now the largest SSDs available top out at 4TB and cost over $6,000. More consumer-friendly 1TB SSDs tend to sell for over $300.

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.

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20 replies on “3D NAND flash memory could lead to 10TB SSDs”

  1. But even more interesting with 3D Nand would be, when eMMC in smartphones and tablets
    will have 2TB memory!

  2. Isn’t 3D NAND already shipping in the Samsung 850 Pro? It’s actually selling for significantly less than the previous generation 840 Pro.

  3. I still prefer HDD for data storage, the SSD is only for the OS, so as long as the OS isnt more than 50 gigs installed, i don’t need a SSD that is more than 100 gigs in capacity.

  4. These things tend to come down in price as newer technology comes out. I will wait for the newer stuff to come out so the once new comes down in price.

  5. What I can’t understand is why a 512GB SSD isn’t even an option, with rare exceptions, when buying a new laptop/ultrabook/etc

    1. Price. It adds another $100 to the cost of the unit. Not only that, but they often offer an upgrade to 512GB drive for a massive markup over the normal retail price.

      And in truth, most users don’t need more than 256GB anyway. Streaming services have drastically reduced the need for lots of disk space, and laptops tend not to be the type of system gamers install lots of massive games on.

      My laptop is my main system. I have several games installed, and a couple of development tools (Eclipse, etc.) along with application code. I believe it adds up to around 100GB, leaving a lot of space for other stuff. Anything I want to keep long term goes up to the cloud (if small) or my NAS (if big).

    2. Southfloridawireless I’m with you.

      Mike I understand you don’t need 512 but I do!

      I would pay for a TB or more internal SSD if it were offered. Not all ultrabooks are easy to upgrade and why should i have to anyway?

    1. Oh yes, that would be perfect for me, for sure. cant wait for that day. i just spent $15 dollars for a 32 GB, but man if I had 1 TB!!!!!!:)

    2. Now if they’d only improve the micro SD card interface to be anywhere near as fast as an SSD…I hate waiting hours to dump 64GB worth of pictures…

  6. Samsung already ships SSDs using similar stacked memory cells, called V-NAND. 3D NAND is another variation of the same technology

    In addition to higher capacitance, it allows the cells to be larger, and thus more resistant to wearing out. The future looks bright.

  7. 3TB is probably the tipping point for me. Hit 3TB at today’s 1TB SSD price and I’ll never again have a spinning disk in my computer, either laptop or desktop.

    1. Caveat: I’d probably *still* have a spinning 6TB drive in the NAS to back up all those devices in the house…

  8. I still have a Radio Shack catalog from the 1980s, a 100mb HDD cost $3500. Its crazy how much storage technology has shrunk, and improved.

    I remember around 2002 someone in the industry saying 2tb was going to be the physical limitation of the 3.5″ form factor. We now have 4tb 2.5″ drives.

    1. I still have a full height 5 1/4 inch floppy disk drive lying around. 360kb capacity.

      I believe my oldest HDD is 8GB. Of course, my first computer used cassette tapes for storage. Those were the days…

    2. Do you have a link for 4TB 2.5″ drives? Not disagreeing, but I’ve not seen anything above 2TB for 2.5″ yet, would love to see if higher capacity has come out.

    3. I read that the first hard drive was from IBM. It was the size of a small ice box, held 5 megabyte of memory and cost $5,000.00.

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