Following in the footsteps of Samsung, Intel will begin its development of proprietary 3D NAND flash memory in the upcoming year, at least proprietary in terms of its IMFT partnership with Micron. This announcement was made by Rob Crooke, VP and GM of Intel NVM Group today at the annual 2014 Investor Group Meeting. Just as good was the news that we may be seeing the benefits of this within the 2015 time frame.
Intel’s new 3D NAND will be based upon a 32 layer stack with a 256Gb density in each die. 3D NAND will be similarly manufactured with a 384Gb density per die. Intel claims that this will enable 1TB capacities in a 2mm package, Rob Crooke stating ““We’re no longer having to make a compromise on how much storage we can fit in there,”. Within two years, Intel claims to be moving storage capacity ahead leaps and bounds with 10TB SSDs being the result of today’s news.
Adding just a bit of intrigue to his news, Rob used the term ‘disruptive’ to openly admit Intel’s plans to rock the pricing structure of today’s SSDs, while at the same time, being sure not to disclose specifics but to say that the new memory is larger than the present 20nm process. This type of news is great for Intel investors and not so great for competition on both the enterprise and consumer front. Even though Samsung will be on its second generation of 3D NAND flash memory, they have been known to be more conservative in nature where Intel is not afraid to take those larger steps, as was recently seen with Intel’s latest NVMe SSD family release.
Where this will definitely be disruptive, however, is to those third-party companies that don’t produce their own NAND flash memory, and especially those who haven’t a secure and long-standing relationship with any one major NAND flash memory manufacturer. Just when many think the dust might settle in the SSD world, 2015 will promise to be much more than many anticipated, especially those many SSD manufacturers that just learned of this announcement.
Just as a bit of what we might foresee as a result of such technology in the future, imagine cell phones with the same storage we are seeing in laptops today, or imagine an ultrabook with several terabytes of storage within.