2 years later, surpassing mechanical hard drives, Intel bets on PLC flash memory: 1PB SSD is beckoning

Intel will continue to produce memory chips, while the flash memory business has been sold to SK Hynix. Intel launched a number of SSD hard drives, including 670P, Optane H20, etc., at the latest storage summit, and introduced 144-layer TLC and QLC flash memory, covering consumer and business markets.

There is an aim for flash/SSD hard disks to overtake HDD hard disks. While everybody now recognizes that SSD hard disk output and delay performance kill HDD hard drives, in terms of the overall TCO expense, HDD hard drives are invaluable, and SSD issues remain too costly.

A main point, though, will be the next two years. Recently, Rob Crooke, senior vice president and general manager of the Intel NAND Devices and Solutions Division, said that SSD hard drives are closing the HDD hard drive distance, and the TCO and cost intersection will be reached in 2022. That implies that the cost of SSD hard drives is lower than that of HDD hard drives.

In the most important problem, two years will exceed HDD hard drives. It’s a much more ambitious forecast than before. Seagate said that SSDs will never exceed the cost of HDD hard drives, and Intel claims that in two years it will be all right.

image source: intel.com

The trust of Intel comes from a recent flash memory generation, which is PLC flash memory after QLC flash memory. The internal device can store 5-bit data and, relative to QLC flash memory, its size is expanded by 25 percent.

SSD hard drives should reach a size of 1 PB in the future based on the broad capacity of PLC flash memory, combined with the new E1 Ruler (EDSFF) specification promoted by Intel. It makes me feel like dreaming about it even though the business industry will never be able to use it.

The cost of PLC flash memory, however is known to everyone. Although it was not listed by Intel, the QLC flash memory’s durability, lifetime and writing speed have been complained about. PLC flash storage is just going to get worse. It depends on how producers implement new innovations to mitigate the disadvantages.