Report: Flash Memory Finally Beats HDDs In Areal Density
For decades, the on solid-state density per surface area has been much less than that of HDDs, but it appears that this has changed by now. For the first time ever, NAND flash memory has exceeded the hard disk drive (HDD) technology in areal density, if a new report from a market research firm is to be believed.
At the 2016 IEEE International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco last week, Micron revealed it had demonstrated areal densities in its laboratories of up to 2.77Tbpsi for its 3D NAND. Comparing it to that of the densest HDDs of about 1.5Tbpsi clearly shows that 2016 flash memory areal densities have exceeded those of HDDs.
Tom Coughlin, Coughlin Associates president, notes in a column in Forbes that the announced hard drive products from the third quarter of 2014 to the third quarter of 2015 had an increased areal density of about 60%, which does reflect the fact that HDDs have not stopped evolving.
“On the other hand, flash memory is getting denser with technology announcements of 2.77Tbspi, higher than any announced HDD areal density,” Coughlin said. “This is a new development.”
Flash memory areal density beating that of HDDs is important since it means that flash memory companies are now able to products with higher capacity, while using the same surface area.
“So flash is developing and certainly getting competitive in terms of areal storage density,” Coughlin said, addded, “but the chips are still more expensive to make than disks and the raw costs of storage will likely remain less for HDDs for some time to come.”