Intel's New 3D NAND Technology Allows for Greater Than 10TB Solid-State Drives

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
49,688
11,004



Intel and Micron on Thursday announced the availability of new 3D NAND technology that enables high-density flash devices with three times more storage capacity than other NAND technologies in production. 3D NAND technology is also more cost efficient than planar NAND, with faster performance, improved latency and new sleep modes that result in low-power use by cutting power to inactive NAND die.

The advancements pave the way for future Macs and other devices with flash memory to be equipped with greater than 10TB solid-state drives, significantly more storage capacity than the maxed out 1TB PCIe-based flash storage upgrade option that Apple offers for the MacBook Pro, iMac and Mac Pro. As planar NAND faces practical scaling limits, Intel and Micron expect that 3D NAND will shape the future of flash memory.
"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."
3D NAND has innovative process architecture with a floating gate cell that enables greater performance and increased quality and reliability. Intel and Micron expect that 3D NAND technology, which "stacks flash cells vertically in 32 layers to achieve 256Gb multilevel cell (MLC) and 384Gb triple-level cell (TLC) die," will result in continued performance gains, cost savings and widespread adoption of flash storage solutions for mobile consumer devices and enterprise deployment.

Intel and Micron claim that the 256Gb MLC version of 3D NAND is being sampled by select partners beginning this week, while the 384Gb TLC design will be sampling later this spring. Both devices are slated to enter full production in the fourth quarter, and both companies are developing separate lines of SSD solutions based on 3D NAND technology that are expected to be available within the next year.

Given that flash storage solutions using 3D NAND are not expected to be available until the end of this year at the earliest, it is unlikely that larger SSDs based on the new technology will be included in any next-generation Macs for the foreseeable future. Apple also recently refreshed the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro, so those two notebook models in particular are still early in their product cycles.

Article Link: Intel's New 3D NAND Technology Allows for Greater Than 10TB Solid-State Drives
 

Jambalaya

macrumors 6502a
Jun 21, 2013
688
98
UK
So this technology can be retro fitted to older Mac's ? Seems like it would use the same connectors / form factor ?
 

JeffyTheQuik

macrumors 68020
Aug 27, 2014
2,468
2,404
Charleston, SC and Everett, WA
This is exciting news for all types of semiconductors, as what I remember from 5 years ago, all the transistors had to be on the base Silicon. Having them on different layers will make the lines shorter (faster signal propagation between devices), and this opens up a whole new dimension (pun intended) in chip fabrication.

----------

Thanks for making me look that up! I hope it continues!
I added the link! This is exciting stuff!
 

brianvictor7

macrumors 65816
Oct 24, 2013
1,051
417
United States
Lord willing, we'll soon be looking back at these days and thinking, wow, you remember when we had had to deal with16 GB of space on a phone? I still look back at the 1990's and think, wow, I can't believe we thought 16 MB of space was huge.
 

shaunp

Cancelled
Nov 5, 2010
1,811
1,395
In 2 years time nobody will be buying hard disks, it will be all SSD. We will still be using tape for archiving though. Long live tape! ;)
 

philipk

macrumors 6502
Jun 11, 2008
438
190
Lord willing, we'll soon be looking back at these days and thinking, wow, you remember when we had had to deal with16 GB of space on a phone? I still look back at the 1990's and think, wow, I can't believe we thought 16 MB of space was huge.
My first real computer (PC) was bought in 1986 with a 20 meg hard drive. The drive went bad in the first year and was replaced under warranty. I paid an extra $100 to upgrade to a 30 meg HD.

Now I have photos larger than that!
 

tkermit

macrumors 68040
Feb 20, 2004
3,459
2,526
I don't even want to imagine how much Apple would charge for a 10TB SSD...
 

critter13

macrumors 6502
Aug 23, 2010
371
476
So this technology can be retro fitted to older Mac's ? Seems like it would use the same connectors / form factor ?
yes, although with SATA quickly fading and PCIe becoming the norm there might not be many companies making SATA drives with it once it is in production.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.