Terabytes of Flash memory are affordable now and much faster 3D Xpoint memory in Terabyte sizes should be affordable in the next few years

Samsung PM1633a is a 16TB (Terabyte) SSD (Solid state flash drive, formatted capacity, 15.36TB). It was announced at the 2015 Flash Memory Summit. The massive increase in density is thanks to the 48-layer 3D TLC NAND that Samsung announced earlier this week. Based on the company’s own statistics, each of its new 3D NAND chips can hold up to 256Gb (32GB). That means 32 chips per terabyte, and 512 chips to provide 16TB of data.

Intel and Micron have the 3D XPoint memory. 600 of the 128 gigabit chips would be about 9 TB of data.

2 Terabyte solid state flash drives are about $750

3D Xpoint has 128 gigabit array memory chips which is non-volatile (does not electricity to retain memory) and has 10s nanosecond read latency.

Volume production at a fabrication plant in Utah is expected in 2016. Claimed operating speed and write durability are both up to 1,000 times higher than flash memory.

While NAND flash uses electric charge and block addressing to store data, 3D XPoint uses electrical resistance and is bit addressable. Individual data cells do not need a transistor, so packing density will be 8-10 times greater than DRAM, and similar to NAND. Operating speed is expected to be slower than DRAM, while price per bit will be higher than NAND and lower than DRAM.