Flash Storage in 2013 and what to expect in 2014

Solid State Drives steadily developed in 2013 but, really, the action was elsewhere, with SSDs being a maturing technology with, for example, NAND density increases enabling matching more product/pricing variations to market niches, and faster 12Gbit/s SAS interface products being introduced.

Still, there were a few highlights:

* sTec brought out a 2TB SAS SSD in January, the s840,
* Micron pushed out a number of SSDs in the year, such as updating its P400M SATA product with a 6Gbit/s SAS interface,
* HGST intro’d 12Gbit/s SAS interface SDDs (SSD100MR) in April,

There was one other big flash technology development in 2013; SMART Storage announced it had stuffed flash chips into a memory DIMM-type module, using Diablo Technologies IP, and so arrived at flash on a server’s memory bus with access latency below that of PCIe flash.

Micron is transitioning to 20nm now with a 16nm process starting production samples in 2014.

Micron expects to commence 3D NAND production sample shipments before mid-2014, perhaps as early as by April. But volume production won’t take place until 2015. Samsung heavily publicised its 3D_VNAND technology but production doesn’t actually look to start production in 2014.

Phase Change Memory and varieties of Resistive RAM, such as HP’s Memristor, are still future tech. Unknown when they will release.

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