Coming Soon to a Data Center Near You: 3D NAND
A 3.5 Terabyte Stick of Gum?!
Over the past few years, adherence to Moore’s Law has slowed throughout the tech industry. Nonetheless, Micron® and Intel® have teamed up to maintain the rapid pace of innovation in the solid state storage space. They have just introduced a revolutionary new high-density flash memory architecture called 3D NAND.
Traditional planar NAND architectures are reaching their practical limits for scale. As a result, it has become impractical and cost-prohibitive to increase the density or capacity of storage devices based on planar (2D) NAND technology. Engineers throughout the industry have been seeking a workable solution to this conundrum.
The Solution: 3D NAND Technology
Intel and Micron tackled the scaling problems of traditional NAND head on by creating a whole new architecture. Where older NAND designs scaled outward on chips and dies of increasing size, 3D NAND scales upward. Like a Manhattan skyscraper, 3D NAND increases storage density and capacity by building upward instead of outward, smashing through existing barriers of scale. This draws us ever closer to parity with traditional spinning disk technologies in cost, capacity, and reliability. For example, a 2.5″ laptop-sized SSD can hold 10 TB, and the “gum stick” form factor can host 3.5 TB of storage. Obviously, 3D NAND will be extremely effective in mobile devices where solid-state storage is already the established standard. However, even more significantly, 3D NAND is poised to become a stalwart of the data center.
Here are Intel’s stated key features of 3D NAND:
Large Capacities –Three times the capacity of existing 3D technology—up to 48GB of NAND per die—enabling three-fourths of a terabyte to fit in a single fingertip-sized package.
Reduced Cost per GB – First-generation 3D NAND is architected to achieve better cost efficiencies than planar NAND.
Fast – High read/write bandwidth, I/O speeds and random read performance.
Green – New sleep modes enable low-power use by cutting power to inactive NAND die (even when other die in the same package are active), dropping power consumption significantly in standby mode.
Smart – Innovative new features improve latency and increase endurance over previous generations, and also make system integration easier.
Micron explains the benefits of 3D NAND
Why we’re excited
We at Pogo are thrilled at the prospect of flash memory getting back on track with Moore’s Law. Gone are the days of solid-state storage being prohibitively expensive and unreliable, when compared to traditional spinning disks. We will soon be able to offer servers and storage solutions that are faster, cheaper, more efficient, and more reliable than anything we’ve seen in the past. The revolution begins in Q4. Stay tuned!
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