Intel’s Partnership With Micron To Soon Birth 10TB SSDs For Enterprise Market

Everyone who builds a PC from the ground up faces several decisions along the way, one of which relates to storage—do you go with a fast solid state drive, or stretch your dollar-per-gigabyte with a capacious hard drive? In the end, most of us settle on a modestly sized SSD for the OS and a beefy HDD for storage chores, but what if you could have the best of both worlds? The industry is heading in that direction.

Intel and Micron have been tag-teaming various storage and memory technologies, like 3D XPoint (pronounced "cross point") memory, and word on the web is that the fruits of that partnership is a 10-terebyte SSD that's right around the corner—yes folks, 10 freaking terabytes. Talk about reaching parity with HDDs (in terms of capacity, no pun intended).

Intel SSD

The largest SSD in Intel's stable at the moment is 4TB, which itself is pretty large. But the bump to 10TB is more than twice as capacious, a feat that's made possible by advancements in Micron's 3D NAND flash memory.

3D NAND flash memory is the next frontier. Both Micron and Intel are of the opinion that typical planar NAND flash memory has gone about as far as it can go, and that 3D memory is the future. More than just lip service, they developed a "floating gate cell" design—a first for 3D stacked memory—resulting in 256Gb multi-level cell (MLC) and 384Gb triple-level cell (TLC) die that fit inside of a standard package.

When Intel and Micron talked about this last year, they pointed to gumstick-sized SSDs reaching 3.5TB and regular 2.5-inch SSDs hitting (and even surpassing) 10TB. Apparently that's about to become a reality.