Expect more PCIe solid state drives and cheaper TLC-based units next year

By on December 17, 2013, 11:45 AM

PCI Express solid state drives are expected to become the storage option of choice for high-end systems next year according to market research firm TrendForce. The company’s DRAMeXchange division also believes we will see more three-bit TLC flash-based drives hit the market, although these will likely be limited to lower-end offerings due to their limited endurance.

PCIe offers a significant speed advantage over traditional SATA controllers but thus far, we haven’t seen very many SSDs take advantage of it save for a handful of OCZ PCIe solutions over the past few years.

As The Tech Report correctly points out, Windows 8.1 already offers native support for NVM Express, an interface designed specifically for PCIe SSDs. What’s more, Intel’s Broadwell platform is also expected to support the standard which could help accelerate adoption of PCIe SSDs.

Given the fact that Broadwell is probably still close to a year away, however, it might be some time before we see PCIe SSDs become the norm. Either way, I for one am looking forward to some faster storage solutions as I eyeball my next hardware upgrade.

On the three-bit TLC front, the company highlights the fact that Samsung’s 840 EVO has inspired multiple drive makers to create similar products for release next year. TLC was supposed to deliver lower prices to the consumer but unfortunately, that really hasn’t happened on the scale that most expected.

For example, the 840 EVO can be had for $165 for 250GB and $570 for 1TB but some MLC drives can be found for around the same price or even cheaper.

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