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Intel’s Rob Crooke Speaks of 3D Memory and 10TB SSDs – 2014 Intel Investor Meeting

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.

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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.

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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.

Intel P3700 NVMe 800GB SSD Angled

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.

  • Benjamin Hojnik

    Hopefully this will drive prices down while also keeping the endurance in check (it should ,since its feature size is larger).

    Now we wait for 100€/1TB drives 🙂

    • $100/1TB would be even better! 😀

      • Benjamin Hojnik

        Well, considering prices in EU usually translate to $ == €, they gonna be 100$ for ‘muricans once flash gets cheap like that 🙂

  • Dean Dayton Rogers

    Its about time ! One thing that has consistently disappointed me about SSD`s is the pathetic piddly amount of storage space per $

    • Benjamin Hojnik

      If you need a lot of _storage_, then you’re after the wrong type of drive 🙂

  • Zzyzx

    Hopefully Intel will focus on quality assurance as well. Samsung kind of ended up with a black eye from that 840 EVO performance degradation problem. I know I’m still skittish about buying more Samsung drives right now.

    I’m really curious what Intel’s idea of “rock the pricing structure” is? They’ve had great drives, but it’s been hard to justify their price point against the competitors for a while.

    “[…] imagine an ultrabook with several terabytes of storage within.” Doesn’t take too much imagination. My little Dell has 2 TB (a 1 TB mSATA – yes, one of those buggy 840 EVOs – and a 1 TB 2.5″ – Crucial M550).

    Not sure what I would do with a 10 TB SSD, but I’m sure I could figure something out. 🙂

    • Benjamin Hojnik

      To be fair, performance degradation bug (which in its core will never be really fixed at 1x nm TLC) didn’t really affect other than performance. And intel was never better in that regard, as they had their fair share of issues (for starters, all of their sandforce line suffers from write degradation, just like any other sandforce drive).

  • gringo

    Maybe in the next 5 years or so we’ll actually get like 2-3 TB for 300 dollars. Not top notch performance, but certainly much better than HDD access times, transfer speeds, random r/w workloads, and ruggedness. But I know I’m optimistic. HDDs seem to have hit a wall as to how much they can store per square inch, and they have to use helium, and shingled recording to overcome limitations.
    TLDR: Let’s hope for 2-3TB at a reasonable price point in the near future.

    • Benjamin Hojnik

      >Maybe in the next 5 years or so we’ll actually get like 2-3 TB for 300 dollars.

      Its not gonna take that long. Right now, you can get 1TB for as little as 360$.
      I’m betting 2 years tops before 2TB hit 300$.

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