Western Digital Announces Plans To Make 3D ReRAM SSDs
Western Digital has declared that it intends to use 3D ReRAM as storage class memory for its future ultra-fast SSDs. The announcement was made this week during the Flash Memory Summit in Santa Clara, California.
While Western Digital didn’t reveal any fixed timeline for when these products will launch or their specifications, they have confirmed their decision to use SanDisk’s Resistive RAM technology alongside 3D manufacturing to create these special purpose SSDs.
The original idea for these non-volatile SCMs came with the desire to create something that would be somewhere in between DRAM and storage devices while maintaining great performance, endurance and latency compared to usual NAND. There have been attempts to create something like this in the past such as phase-change memory and conductive-bridging RAM.
However, all of these technologies have had their fair share of caveats whether its related to performance or cost. That is why SanDisk had been working on their ReRAM for years to make it ready for the market.
Fundamentally, ReRAM (also sometimes called RRAM) works by changing the resistance across a dielectric material by electrical current. On paper, the technology enables higher performance and endurance when compared to NAND flash, but finding the right materials and architecture for ReRAM has taken engineers many years.
This is where Western Digital comes in with their BiCS 3D NAND technology which will be used to produce these ReRAM chips. The company claims their 3D ReRAM chips will feature a multi-layer cross-point implementation which will result in reduced layers per ReRAM while making sure the bandwidth doesn’t suffer.
Western Digital also said that its 3D ReRAM technology is already supported by the current PC ecosystem which suggests that the first such SSD to use 3D ReRAM will be using the industry standard NVDIMM interface.
Hopefully, we get to see the first of these new products in the market within the next 2 years.