Intel is readying 144-Layer QLC SSDs alongside 2nd-gen PCIe 4.0 Optane drives

Humza

Posts: 826   +161
Staff member

Intel is seemingly on track with its memory and storage product roadmap as it looks forward to launching the 144-layer 3D NAND QLC flash storage - codenamed Keystone Harbor - later this year. While the new denser 4th-gen modules would initially be available across limited capacities, the company is planning a complete transition to this tech (internally called Arbordale+) for all its consumer SSDs by next year.

Rob Crook, head of Intel's Non-volatile Memory Solutions Group (NSG), also revealed that the "tremendous momentum" of this technology had enabled it to surpass 10 million shipments of QLC SSDs, and that development on its 5 bits per cell PLC storage is still underway.

Intel also shared an update on its Alder Stream Optane SSDs, which use the company's 2nd-gen 3D XPoint technology and will ship in single port form later this year, followed by a dual port version in 2021.

These SSDs are expected to deliver at least a 50 percent performance increase over current-gen Optane drives, thanks to a faster controller and PCIe 4.0 compliance. Storage capacities, however, are yet to be finalized, but doubling the memory stack of Intel's current DC P4800X to four layers should theoretically result in a 3TB version for the top-end version.

Intel will reveal more Optane details in an official event slated for next month, where we can also expect to see next-gen DC Persistent Memory with higher speed and capacities than the current-gen 512GB maxed out DIMMs. What's confirmed, however, is that the company won't be expanding Optane to portable drives and will keep its focus on the three market segments it originally targeted for this tech.

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QuantumPhysics

Posts: 4,748   +5,178
I am always in the market for 2TB SSD. Intel's 660p 2TB is $230 currently. I'd like to wait and see what happens when Intel's new SSD modules come to market. Hopefully, their 2TB will be as cheap as they are now - or force the 660p to be reduced in price.

However, I'd really be happy to see 4TB modules.
 

Reehahs

Posts: 1,164   +797
I am always in the market for 2TB SSD. Intel's 660p 2TB is $230 currently. I'd like to wait and see what happens when Intel's new SSD modules come to market. Hopefully, their 2TB will be as cheap as they are now - or force the 660p to be reduced in price.

However, I'd really be happy to see 4TB modules.

If they are low power enough then you can stick it to the back of your iPhone and power it with a lightning cable.
 

CBTex

Posts: 118   +231
I'd love a PCI-E 4.0 x 4 drive with about 256 GB GB of Optane as cache for 2 TB of QLC. QLC is decently fast enough for reads and I don't have a fast enough connection to saturate the writes for very long.
 


Yes.
Hell yes.

If the speed is up by a lot as the article says, then it's really a question of the durability in long term performance. I mean, if it's just not liking the 'Q' for quad (not sure what WORM would stand for), 'T' for tetra could be just as appropriate. They jumped 16 past the goalpost for layers, they must have figured out how to shed some pounds..
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 1,779   +1,912
TechSpot Elite
If the speed is up by a lot as the article says, then it's really a question of the durability in long term performance. I mean, if it's just not liking the 'Q' for quad (not sure what WORM would stand for), 'T' for tetra could be just as appropriate. They jumped 16 past the goalpost for layers, they must have figured out how to shed some pounds..

WORM is a term for old-skool data storage: Write Once Read Many. Punch cards, ROMs, CD-R or DVD-R. Better not screw up that write or you'll need to toss that one out and try again.
 
WORM is a term for old-skool data storage: Write Once Read Many. Punch cards, ROMs, CD-R or DVD-R. Better not screw up that write or you'll need to toss that one out and try again.
oh, good clarification; I'd forgotten about that acronym. I remember the 5.25" floppies and 3.5" soft disks with the safety switch, but didn't use them for OS booting for very long.
 

ZedRM

Posts: 420   +242
If the speed is up by a lot as the article says, then it's really a question of the durability in long term performance. I mean, if it's just not liking the 'Q' for quad (not sure what WORM would stand for), 'T' for tetra could be just as appropriate. They jumped 16 past the goalpost for layers, they must have figured out how to shed some pounds..
That comment said almost nothing at all. Total nonsense! Of course durability is the primary concern, why else would we be complaining? Really with that?
 
That comment said almost nothing at all. Total nonsense! Of course durability is the primary concern, why else would we be complaining? Really with that?

I mentioned the labeling because of the importance to marketing versus the real technical measure. if the root issue were sussed out, it wouldn't be the specification of this particular iteration of the chips, but a deeper deflation of companies finding the biggest number to brag on and burying the details; like where a consumer who hasn't done their homework would think SLC is worse because more is better.