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These technologies will blow the lid off data storage


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I just bought a Samsung 3D SSD for one of my refurbs and I did not really know at the time what 3D tech was. Well now I do in addition to clearing up what SLC and MLC mean. How about SSDs that are cheaper then the same size hard drives, a hundred times more storage capacity, and a thousand times more reliable? Read on.




"This year, Intel and Micron will introduce 3D XPoint memory, also known as Optane, which will increase performance and durability 1,000-fold over today's NAND flash.


Don't count NAND flash out. While the Optane chip and other resistive memory technologies coming down the pike may result in storage-class memory that could replace costly DRAM for many applications, it won't be cheap for a long while. That leaves the door open for continued NAND flash advances.


Enter 3D NAND flash, which Samsung, Intel/Micron, Toshiba and others believe will continue to grow capacity and tamp down prices. Eventually, 3D NAND will even convince consumers that SSDs can be as affordable as HDDs.


"Very soon flash will be cheaper than rotating media," said Siva Sivaram, executive vice president of memory at SanDisk.

Meanwhile, Seagate has demonstrated its heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) for HDDs, which will enable data densities of more than 10 trillion (10Tb) per square inch. That's 10 times higher than the areal density in today's highest density HDDs. Seagate expects to work with equipment makers in 2017 to demonstrate HAMR products for data center applications, and in 2018 the company expects to begin shipping HAMR drives to broader markets.


These recent technology advances are just the latest chapter in the long story of ever-growing storage needs forcing innovations to meet the new demand.


Storage is always up against a wall


When HDD companies faced capacity limits in the early 2000s, Toshiba and Seagate flipped data bits from lying flat on a platter to standing up side-by-side. The change from longitudinal to perpendicular magnetic recording increased HDD capacity by as much as 10 times.


When the HDD industry again faced capacity limits in 2013, Seagate overlapped data tracks like roof shingles, increasing capacity by 25 percent; then in 2014, HGST introduced helium filled drives, boosting capacity by 50 percent.


In the non-volatile memory industry, the same kind of advances have occurred to blow past capacity limits. Single-level cell (SLC) NAND flash became mult-level (MLC) NAND, where instead of one bit per transistor, two and three bits were stored. When MLC NAND faced its limits with the sub-10 nanometer (nm) lithography process, Samsung introduced 3D NAND flash, a move quickly followed by Intel/Micron and Toshiba, which stacked NAND cells up to 48-layers high. Flash manufacturers believe there's no limit in site to how high they may climb.


NAND flash skyscrapers to grow beyond 100 stories


From the first iteration, 3D NAND flash technology offered from two to 10 times higher reliability and twice the write performance of planar NAND.


Most importantly, however, 3D NAND removed the lithography barrier planar (single-level NAND flash) faced as manufacturers shrunk transistors below 15 nanometers in size. The smaller lithography process led to data errors as bits (electrons) leaked between thin-walled cells.


"The big deal is you're not building these [3D NAND] skyscrapers one floor at a time. We know how to go from 24 layers to 36 layers to 48 layers to 64 layers and so on," said Sivaram. "There are no physics limitations to this. What we now have in 3D NAND is a predictable scaling for three and four generations -- something we never had before."


Currently, Samsung, SanDisk and its partner Toshiba and Intel and its partner Micron have been able to create 48-layer 3D


NAND, which can store 256Gb (32GB) in a single chip. While Samsung is the only company mass producing the 48-layer chips, all of the others are planning product launches soon."


While most would think that was a lot, there really is much more in the whole article with illustrations and a really good video with a cutaway Hard Drive that shows folks just how much wear and tear one goes through. This one is an easy read for such new tech, Read it here: http://www.infoworld.com/article/3042041/storage/these-technologies-will-blow-the-lid-off-data-storage.html?token=%23tk.IFWNLE_nlt_infoworld_hardware_rpt_2016-03-10&idg_eid=6aa01e18b29f7b6f9149f611f8eac228&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=InfoWorld%20Hardware%20Report%202016-03-10&utm_term=infoworld_hardware_rpt#tk.IFW_nlt_infoworld_hardware_rpt_2016-03-10

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