Intel’s new 3D NAND Technology allows for 10TB or larger drives, improves SSD performance

Micron and Intel have announced the availability of new high-density 3D NAND flash memory. The new memory enables gum stick-sized SSDs with more than 3.5 terabytes (TB) of storage and standard 2.5-inch SSDs with greater than 10TB of storage.

This 3D NAND technology will replace the existing planar NAND flash which is reaching its practical scaling limits. 3D NAND uses a stacking arrangement that aligns flash cells in 32 vertical layers. This arrangement would enable “gum stick-sized SSDs with more than 3.5TB of storage and standard 2.5-inch SSDs with greater than 10TB.” It also is less expensive to create, offers faster read/write performance and improves both latency and endurance in drives.
“Micron and Intel’s collaboration has created an industry-leading solid-state storage technology that offers high density, performance and efficiency and is unmatched by any flash today,” said Brian Shirley, vice president of Memory Technology and Solutions at Micron Technology. “This 3D NAND technology has the potential to create fundamental market shifts. The depth of the impact that flash has had to date—from smartphones to flash-optimized supercomputing—is really just scratching the surface of what’s possible.”
Intel and Micron are currently sampling a 256 GB MLC version with select hardware partners, while a 384 GB TLC design will be available later this spring. Full production is expected by the end of the year with individual drives from both Intel and Micron debuting within the coming year.


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