10TB SSD in your Mac? New 3D NAND flash will triple capacity of SSDs

“Standard consumer SSDs will increase up to an astounding 10TB of storage, thanks to a new type of 3D NAND flash memory that Intel and Micron introduced Thursday morning,” Gordon Mah Ung reports for PCWorld.

“The two companies, longtime joint partners in NAND flash development, said the breakthrough isn’t to make larger flash chips, but thicker ones,” Ung reports. “Much like Manhattan, when you’re out of space, the only way to go is up.”

“Executives at the two companies said that by stacking the NAND they can greatly increase the capacity,” Ung reports. “Pack a bunch of those together, and the end result is a tripling of capacity over today’s drives, at least initially. For a standard 2.5-inch SATA drive that means up to 10TB of space; for the M.2 drive type used by most laptops, the 3D NAND will boost capacities up to 3.5GB [sic 3.5TB]… The chips are already sampling at both companies, and Intel said it expects to offer products for sale using the 3D chips in the later half of this year.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: With video and everything else getting larger, these types of storage breakthroughs are sorely needed. As always, they’ll be expensive at first, but prices will come down over time. Imagine a MacBook with a 3.5TB SSD on board!

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Bill” and “Dominick P.” for the heads up.]

14 Comments

    1. Yeah, but not from Apple. They’ll still be “high”(ish) in the standard models and through the roof for these 3D drives. With the move to things being non-user upgradable, this isn’t such good news, unfortunately. But maybe SSDs will become standard across the board, at least.

      1. Exaggerate much?

        You are NOT FORCED to buy anything from Apple.

        I prefer non user upgradable. Because there are pros that come with that. Ie a higher MTBF, a higher speed, less power consumption, a cleaner smaller footprint. I.e. Things that matter at the bleeding edge of design.

        1. Intellectually dishonest much? No one said they were FORCED to buy Apple computers idiot.

          However, if Apple computers are what you want or NEED to use, most of their newest models, do in fact FORCE non-upgradable components on you. If you anticipate needing more storage capacity in the future, you ARE forced to purchase the max when you order the computer, you CANNOT upgrade it yourself in the future. This change was in fact FORCED on the consumer.

          We can debate whether it is a good thing or bad thing for consumers that the option has been removed, many have never upgraded their internals and don’t care. it doesn’t negate the fact that Apple cut those of us who do off at the knees now does it?

          1. The ONLY reason Apple has prevented users from replacing/upgrading components is $$$$$$. You must pay Apple $$$$$ to fix your HD WHEN it fails, for far more then a user could with the same components. If Apple thinks I’m going to let my dead hard drive with all my information on it leave my possession so they can hand me a refurbed machine and send my dead hard drive off to be recycled they are sadly mistaken. No user upgradable/repairable means it’s disposable and at their prices, not going to happen. I’ll replace my 24″ iMac with a mac mini or used Mac Pro.

    2. They (Intel and Micron) aren’t going to change the status quo much. Samsung has been making 24-layer SSD chips for years. I recently installed the 800 GB version of their 845DC Pro in my late-2009 i7 iMac. It now screams.

      The beauty of stacking layers is that flash chips have rather finite “endurance” (the capacity to be re-written). As flash cell geometry shrinks, the cells’ ability to retain data for long periods becomes shorter as does their ability to be re-written many times.

      By stacking 24 layers, Samsung keeps cell geometry generous. And by adding excess capacity—what’s called “overprovisioning”—the drive automatically swaps out memory locations that have gone bad with reserve cells.

      The end result of all this is amazing speed, and enterprise-class endurance. The 845DC Pro is capable of 5 drive writes per day for five years.

      P.S. Don’t assail me for going over to the “dark side” with Samsung. I try (hard) not to buy their stuff. But their SSD’s are just too damned good to pass up.

    1. It’s not packaging issue; the device itself won’t be three (or 32) times as thick as the current SSD package:

      “The new 3D NAND technology stacks flash cells vertically in 32 layers to achieve a 256Gbit multilevel cell (MLC) and 384Gbit triple-level cell (TLC) die that fit within a standard package.”

      They’re not stacking existing chips; each layer in the new approach is microscopic in thickness.

      Did you fail to read for comprehension, or just forget the /s tag?

  1. SSD is yet another TLA (three-letter acronym). The language isn’t moving fast enough to keep up with new things. Someone should’ve invented a noun for this gizmo before it became so widespread that we had to resort to more alphabet soup.

  2. I remember I used to have a Macintosh quadra AV. It had audio and video inputs (analog RGB) but even that macs used SCSI drives as standard, those were not able to capture real time full frame video (640×480, 30fps) so you have to use a special compression card and RAID disks.
    RED cinematography cameras capture directly to SSDs, so, all related video advances has been li,tied mostly to the capacity of the device to store what is capturing.
    Thanks Intel and micron.. And I hope you stole apple from Samsung as a storage provider.

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