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Micron's introduction of their 3D NAND technology yesterday marks what could be a massive jump in capacity for enterprise and even consumer SSD's. We could, with Intel's partnership and stake in the technology, see upwards of 10TB SSD's for far less than we currently pay for the size.
The magic to this leap in capacity, and even potentially prune the price per GB, is in the packaging. It's far from a perfected process, but once manufacturing has picked up and fabs are properly modified to support the manufacturing process, the costs associated will reduce appropriately. But that stacking can reduce costs even more because of the manufacturing efficiency associated with it. The benefits may not be immediately apparent, though that simplified process of making the whole package will eventually trickle down to us, the consumer. And we'll eventually benefit greatly from it.
Furthermore, the verticality, as evidence by Samsung's method, can result in an increase in density that could allow for even USB thumb drives with multi-terabyte capacities. Again, that move to consolidate the entire package uses less room than even the V-NAND structure employed by Samsung. Micron even claims that their solution has a massive three times the density as their competitors solution. If that's true, then it won't be too terribly long before 10TB or even 20TB SSD's become affordable, and normal, for consumers.
Vertical NAND is all the rage, something that was initially released commercially by Samsung but is in development by the other manufacturers as well. Micron is unveiling their first generation of 3D NAND into the wild, ready to improve density, reliability and performance.
Samples of their own vertically aligned NAND were shown at CES this year, though they were playing a little coy with the details until things were actually finalized. And now those specifications are. Micron's first generation of 3D NAND will come in two flavors, a 256Gb MLC die and a 384Gb TLC die, and those are ready for manufacture it would seem, ready to be integrated into products coming out in the near future.
Interestingly, Micron has made some very significant advancements in how they package their NAND. In the past, the CMOS logic was packaged alongside of the actual memory die itself, but they've been able to place nearly 75% of the CMOS itself underneath the NAND array, similar to how HBM has localized the entire stack vertically. That innovation makes it more cost effective to manufacture.
Let's face it: current-gen console gaming isn't hard drive friendly. Since a single 50GB game takes up 10% of an Xbox One's stock 500GB hard drive, gamers often have to delete and swap out titles in their library to keep up. But ADATA aims to avoid the frustration with its new line of spacious Xbox hard drives.
ADATA's new HD650X and HD710M external hard drives are specifically designed to give Xbox consoles a much-needed boost in storage capacity. Both models sport USB 3.0 connectivity for speedy transfers and come in 2TB flavors for optimum storage, offering up to four times the capacity of stock HDD's. The drives support easy plug and play setup, and are compatible with Xbox Ones, Xbox 360s and Windows 10 PCs.
The HD650X external HDD sports a lively lime-green style that matches the Xbox theme, and ships with a 3 year warranty despite it being quite durable against HDD-destroying elements like water, dust and electric shock.
Toshiba and OCZ are following up the Trion 100 budget SSD series with the Trion 150, a $150 solution with added performance over its predecessor.
The 150 is built on Toshiba's 15nm Triple-Level Cell (TLC) NAND flash technology. Specs-wise, it features sequential read speeds of up to 550MB/s, sequential write speeds of up to 530MB/s, random write I/O performance of up to 91,000 IOPS, and as much as 240TB total bytes written.
Four capacities with four different price points will be offered: 120GB ($50), 240GB ($70), 480GB ($140), and 960GB ($270).
It's a lot of potential value for little money. Unfortunately, OCZ has a reputation for a unreliability, particularly with its budget products, but hopefully the 150 series -- which is available now -- turns out different.
Foremay has announced its full disk encryption SED SSD, bundled with Crypto Erase for user security.
Crypto Erase has been added due to "its lightning speed," said the recent press release, informing possible customers that they can initiate a software or hardware wipe of the whole drive locally or remotely, with all data being erased within a single second.
These drives are also self-encrypting, ensuring that a stolen drive will completely lock out access to unauthorized users, with Foremay further providing "optional OPAL 2.0 features harnessed with an enhanced authorization key and encryption key authentication and verification process." This further OPAL 2.0 addition means that a thief's computer will be completely unable to recognize the stolen drive, even when the correct authentication key is provided.
Other World Computing (OWC), also known as MacSales, isn't solely about pimping out your Apple PC, announcing in a recent press release that it's launching a 2.0TB SSD before the close of January.
The 2TB Mercury Electra offers SATA 3.0 6G read speeds of 490MB/s sustained, 128/256-bit AES encryption, MLC flash, a three-year warranty and the largest capacity that OWC has on offer. While also offering read speeds of up to 471MB/s, this drive has been "designed from the ground up for heavy-duty use," says OWC founder and CEO Larry Conner.
Available before the end of January 2016, this drive will set back consumers $799.99 on release and can be bought directly from MacSales.
A company called Fixstars, from Japan, has released one of the largest SSD's to date. It has 13TB of space in it's 100x70x15mm case. Just imagine being able to have your entire Steam library plus every document you ever created, easily and quickly accessible?
For comparison, it can hold up to 823 hours of H.256 compressed 4K video. What a dream that would be. But this gigantic SSD is about $18,000 total, if we go by the current price of NAND per gig. To actually find out the price, you'd have to ask for a quote as it's actually intended for the enterprise or data-center markets. The current largest amount of NAND you can buy is from 4.6TB from SanDisk or Intel. So this is a major leap forward.
Looking at the specs it looks like it uses Toshiba's 15nm MLC NAND and a SATA 3.0 interface for speeds of up to 580MB/s read and 520MB/s write. That's not too shabby. The endurance should also be a bit more than the average considering the market it's in and the potential for higher over-provisioning due to the massive amounts of space available. There's no word on what controller it uses, but for enterprise it'll have to be a reliable one with good garbage collection and I/O performance. Anyone want to go halfsies on this one?
Storage titan Seagate has just revealed its first helium-filled hard drive aimed at the cloud datacenter market.
Seagate's new helium-filled hard drive is set in a 3.5" form factor and features 10 terabytes of storage capacity. The drives specifically target cloud datacenters that need extensive storage space as well as memory efficiency, both of which helium-filled drives can accommodate. Traditional hard drives are filled with air, but filling the drives with helium allows manufacturers to fit more platters to increase capacity, improve power usage, and maximize accuracy of the actuator arm.
The new hermetically-sealed enterprise-class hard drives feature seven platters at 1.43 TB a piece, along with 14 heads. Speeds have yet to be determined, and are assumed to be 7200RPM. Seagate affirms that the helium-filled drives utilize the company's PowerChoice technology to help manage power consumption during idle times. Thanks to the benefits of helium gas, the new 10TB drives have a Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) rate of 2.5 million hours, which is significantly better than existing enterprise drives.
Seagate is on quite the roll lately with the introduction of an 8TB NAS focused consumer HDD, which is a first in the industry. This HDD uses six platters with 1.33TB per platter, making it incredibly dense.
Though it's being marketed towards everyone, it's really designed for the NAS and RAID applications, which likely entail a much more constant workload. Each of the six 1.33TB large platters use perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) technology that's been well refined since commercial introduction in 2005.
The drive operates at 7200RPM with 256MB of DRAM cache and a SATA 3 interface. The dense platters and even the normal spindle speed should allow a peak transfer rate from the media to the internal cache of about 216MB/s, which is quite impressive for a mechanical device. This new NAS HDD joins Seagate's other NAS drives that can be found in 4-6TB's of storage space.
CES 2016 - M.2 NVMe SSD's are all the rage. There are several products slated to hit the market this year and one of the drives we are most excited about is OCZ's upcoming RevoDrive 400. Rumored to be powered by a proprietary controller and 15nm MLC flash, the RevoDrive packs a punch that is sure to delight enthusiast's everywhere.
Early-adopting enthusiasts that feel held back by commodity SATA storage can't wait to get their hands-on the impending RevoDrive 400 series which was designed and engineered for ultimate next generation storage performance. The NVMe™ PCI Express Gen. 3 x4 SSD series redefines the boundaries of speed and the limitations of storage capacity with up to 2.4GB/s of bandwidth and up to 1TB on a single M.2 module.
OCZ was kind enough to give TweakTown a first look at a RevoDrive 400 512GB SSD in action. These benchmarks display an impressive 2.6GB/s sequential read performance and an equally impressive 1.6GB/s sequential write performance. Looks like the 950 Pro may have some serious competition coming soon from Team OCZ.