Intel Adds New Dimension to SSDs

Imagine a fast and powerful 1 terabyte solid-state drive (SSD) that fits on your fingertip.

That’s enough storage capacity to hold more than 200,000 songs or more than 150 hours of high definition video! The day is coming when your tablet will have enough room to hold every song you can imagine, plus all your photos, videos and more. And it’s coming sooner than you think.

At Intel’s Investor Day yesterday, Rob Crooke, Intel vice president and general manager of the Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group (NSG), unveiled Intel’s plans to begin production of 3D NAND for use in consumer and data center SSDs starting in the second half of 2015.

3D NAND is a sensational technological advancement allowing SSDs to store more data in less space, increase overall drive capacity, reduce power consumption and improve system-level performance at a lower cost to users. Intel achieves this by packing more storage density onto the SSD. It’s like taking a plot of land and building a high-rise apartment building as opposed to a single-family home. To show off the new 3D NAND, Rob presented from a computer featuring a prototype SSD utilizing the new technology.

Intel capitalized on its decades-long history of microchip manufacturing innovation to overcome the challenge of drilling 4 billion holes in a silicon chip. This means Intel is able to deliver unprecedented density at 256 Gbits per die, meaning we can deliver higher capacities at a lower cost. This enables us to continue to deliver on the promise of Moore’s Law by doubling storage capacity and enabling our CPUs to really show off their unique capabilities and tremendous performance. The potential 3D NAND brings to Intel SSDs is truly inspiring.

In data center applications having more storage closer to the CPU enables fast transactions, quick access to real-time data and short wait times for content. Intel’s 3D NAND delivers stunning performance and is very cost effective. Just one 4-inch server rack of Intel SSDs can deliver 11 million IOPS (input/output operations per second). For comparison, you would need a rack of hard disk drives measuring 500 feet tall to churn out the same performance. Beyond the savings in the cost of the drives, imagine the immense savings in power and cooling!

For consumers it means more storage where you need it: tablets and notebooks for photos, music and games; home theaters for hours of HD content delivered with almost no lag; and in vehicle infotainment systems to store maps, music and more. These benefits are just the tip of the iceberg.

Intel will continue its fruitful and long-term relationship with Micron and jointly held IM Flash Technologies (IMFT) to produce the new multi-level cell (MLC) flash chips with products available in the second half of 2015. For more information on Intel SSDs and non-volatile memory, visit http://www.intel.com/ssd.

Frank Ober

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About Frank Ober

Frank Ober is a Data Center Solutions Architect in the Non-Volatile Memory Group of Intel. He joined 3 years back to delve into use cases for the emerging memory hierarchy after a 25 year Enterprise Applications IT career, spanning, SAP, Oracle, Cloud Manageability and other domains. He regularly tests and benchmarks Intel SSDs against application and database workloads, and is responsible for many technology proof point partnerships with Intel software vendors.