Just last week, Intel and Micron Technology announced plans to unveil its 3D NAND technology sometime in the first half of 2015. The 3D NAND technology is a big leap for storage tech to be used in data centers, tablets, laptops and mobile phones. Consumers have been demanding faster storage technology, and 3D NAND technology is the proposed solution.
The transition to 3D NAND includes an increase in capacity expansion. This technology is a type of flash memory that stacks data cells vertically using special interconnects. The end result is improved performance and a higher density of memory cells. With 3D NAND technology on the horizon, platter hard drives may become obsolete. This technology overcomes the density limit current in the planar NAND architecture. It has a denser chip with three times as much capacity as the planar NAND technology.
Its design enables flash memory manufacturers to create storage mediums with ultra-high capacity. It’s also possible that 3D NAND technology will allow manufacturers to mass produce 2.5 inch SSDs with capacities greater than 10TB. Plus, 3D NAND technology is a cost improvement over planar technology. It’s projected to bring down the cost per GB by delivering ¾ of a TB in a fingertip-sized package. Both companies claim 3D NAND technology will improve power consumption and data rate.
According to TrendForce, 3D NAND technology will only account for 3 percent of the NAND Flash industry’s supply, as many manufacturers are still in the testing and sample phase. At the same time, it’s projected that the 3D NAND market share will climb to 20 percent by the end of 2015. HIS research has indicated that this new technology will account for the majority of flash shipments up to 65.7 percent by 2017. Many industry experts feel that the higher capacity alone will win over enthusiasts, even if the 3D NAND is on par with the existing planar NAND SSDs.
It is believed that Micron’s early entry in the 3D NAND market will help increase its market share through SK Hynix, Toshiba and SanDisk. And although Intel’s market share is smaller, its early adoption of this new technology is likely to increase its market share in the near future.