Supplier aims for 300TB flash drives by 2026

Daniel Sims

Posts: 919   +35
The big picture: As consumers switch to solid-state drives for their speed and reliability, manufacturers keep pushing spinning disk drives to bring capacity higher and cost-per-gigabyte lower. One flash supplier believes it can handily outpace hard drives over the next few years.

Flash storage provider Pure Storage told outlet Blocks & Files this week that it hopes to offer 300TB drives before or by 2026. That would be at least a six-fold increase from its current 24TB and 48TB drives.

Pure Storage is optimistic regarding that pace due to the speed of recent 3D NAND advancements. Last year, Western Digital revealed plans to begin manufacturing 162-layer NAND and reach over 200 layers by 2024. Micron started shipping 232-layer NAND last year, while Samsung hopes to hit 1,000 layers by the close of the decade.

Alex McMullan, Pure Storage's CTO, told Blocks & Files that the company currently receives 112 and 160-layer NAND from its chip suppliers, and they have plans to reach 400-500 layers over the next few years, making ever-larger drives possible. Western Digital also wants to hit 500 layers within this decade.

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Pure Storage specializes in SSDs comprised of NAND chips running its proprietary FlashArray and FlashBlade operating systems. The company calls these products Direct Flash Modules (DFMs).

Pure Storage shared a roadmap showing the enlargement of DFM capacity since 2012, steadily climbing until starting a sharp incline around 2021. The company hopes that curve can hold, bringing it to 300TB in the next three years.

It also shared a chart illustrating its hopes that its products' Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) will continue falling against HDDs between now and 2027. The chart projects that HDDs will remain static in this area while flash purchase prices could fall. Running flash storage is already cheaper than hard disc storage.

Notably, Pure Storage's projections fly past those of companies focusing on high-capacity HDDs like Seagate. With HAMR technology, Seagate plans to start shipping 30TB HDDs this year. The company hopes to hit 40TB by 2024 or 2025, 50TB by 2026, and 100TB by 2030.

McMullan promised multiple significant announcements at Pure Storage's 2023 Accelerate conference in Las Vegas, lasting from June 14 to June 16.

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Posts: 140   +190
Right, but they aren't going to sell if the price is way more than what Businesses pay for hard drives, and reliability is a factor too, sure they might be faster, but most of these drives that I have seen sacrifice some speed for reliability's sake and they would more than likely be in some kind of array anyway, so random access speeds don't carry as much weight


Posts: 134   +85
The larger the capacity of an SSD (as well as an HDD) becomes, the more critical the long-term storage of "cold" data becomes. And as you know, for 3D TLC it does not exceed 6-7 years with wear up to 10%, for MLC up to 15 years, but there are practically no such disks left. Only crazy people can trust QLC data, and even more so PLCs. Even in RAID10.

What remains for such capacious SSDs on QLC/PLC? Only short-term data caching. And by the way, many ordinary people are not aware that according to J(E)DEC standards on consumer disks, by default, it is assumed that data will be stored for no more than 1 year without updating cells at temperatures around no more than 35C and with 99% wear.

On corporate models, things are even worse - data safety does not exceed 3-6 months at temperatures up to 45C with 99% wear.

It has been empirically calculated that with wear of more than 35-40%, the rate of increase in charge loss becomes too large (just like everyone tries to get rid of a car older than 3 years, because the cost of maintenance starts to scale and this is architecturally incorporated) and it makes sense to get rid of this SSD, if it is supposed to store "cold" on it for a long time. Such SSDs are already dangerous even as system ones.

It should also be taken into account that SSDs have a tendency of sudden failure (loss of a translator or hardware problems in general with power tying) and, unlike HDDs, it is almost impossible to restore information on them. So 300TB SSDs can only exist as part of RAID10, and preferably with SSDs from different manufacturers in order to exclude the simultaneous failure of the same model due to some architectural miscalculations.

The funny thing is that most PCs and laptops cannot create a RAID10 from an SSD, since this requires at least 4 M.2 slots, and only in the case of outdated SATA drives (which are less and less on sale, sadly) can be organized on desktop boards RAID10. But again, it will be cheaper to organize RAID10 on capacious HDDs for the same price and move the entire system at home to a NAS, which is in the back room and does not interfere with its noise. And for this case, RJ45 ports from 10Gb / s are required both at home and in offices and in PCs and laptops, and with them a complete shame in the industry. Even 2.5Gb/s ports are - to the shame of laptop manufacturers - a rarity in business models.
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Posts: 734   +491
Considering the psychopaths who are taking over the world, by 2026 we'll be happy to have electricity and running water. Nobody will even talk about flash drives.