New SSD tech puts a terabit on a fingertip


Memory meisters at Intel and Micron have announced a new addition to their joint range of NAND flash modules, capable of storing a terabit of data (128GB) on a chip the size of your finger tip.

Physically, that's between eight and sixteen times smaller than the chips commonly used in SSDs today. If the costs are right, it's big news for the little drives.

The Tb chips are made up of eight 128Gb memory dies, which will be manufactured on a 20nm process with a high-K technology similar to the one Intel currently uses for its CPUs. Available early in 2012, they double the storage capacity per die of the largest currently available dies, which are the 20nm 64Gb ones Intel and Micron announced are moving into mass production in the same press release.

It's been a big couple of months for SSD technology. According to analysts at Context , short supply of hard drives has led to a masssive 52.9% increase in sales for SSD suppliers. While the new chips from Intel and Micron should mean a fall in average prices per gigabyte next year, there's likely to be some very happy shareholders in groups that manufacture and flog solid state storage this quarter.

The good news for those looking to upgrade their hard drive, however, is that Western Digital has reportedly restarted production at its Thai factories , a week ahead of schedule. That was the cause of recent price hikes, which should settle down again in the new year.