back to article What the PUC: SK Hynix next to join big boys in 96-layer 3D NAND land

SK Hynix has finished work on a 512 Gbit, 96-layer, 3D NAND chip with 1Tbit, and 3bits/cell (TLC) and 4bits/cell (QLC) coming later. Currently SK Hynix is shipping 72-layer 3D NAND chips. The 96-layer chip uses charge trap flash (CTF) tech, as opposed to floating gate, and its logic circuitry is placed underneath the flash …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thanks but

    When all the technicals are spilled and you come to...

    "1TB client SSDs this year"

    .. all you see is the size and think... still?

    At the end, what does "1Tb in 2019" really translate into, 4TB drives in 2019?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Thanks but

      They can make them MUCH larger easily - NAND chips have been stacked 8 chips high in a package, and the SATA power budget would allow for at least 32 chips if not 64 per device - so something like 16 TB to 32 TB in a 3.5" form factor (less in m.2 of course)

      The problem isn't making them, the problem is there is a distinct lack of demand in the consumer market the larger they get due to price. You can't just multiply the price of a 1 TB by 4 and think that's the price a 4 TB drive should go for. They would sell less than 1% as many, so the price would be 3-4x more than that.

      You want to see how big they can get, look at the enterprise market. You can get drives as big as 100 TB in a 3.5" form factor (half height SAS, not SATA) but you better refinance the mortgage on your house to free up the cash first!

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Thanks but

        "You can get drives as big as 100 TB in a 3.5" form factor (half height SAS, not SATA) "

        You can _get_ them in 3.5" form factor, but you can't _house_ them like a 3.5" form factor drive. They get way too hot for that.

        Think of your grandfather's original 3.5" full height 4GB Seagate Barracudas which drew 20+W and needed copious airflow to keep their warranty intact, whilst sounding rather menancing as they took their 20 seconds to get to full spin speed.

        (We'd house ours 2 into 3 * 5.25" bays with 120mm fans front and rear to keep them happy - even then they were hot to touch)

        New technology needs new packaging - what suited round pegs isn't good for long thin rectangular ones.

        As for pricing: There's bugger-all margin in NAND at the moment and more profit to be made in selling smaller drives than larger ones. That's margin issue is only going to get worse as more factories come onstream and the market saturates (which will push everyone into larger sizes as a natural consequence). You _can_ sell slow write-limited NAND - in very large packaged sizes and it's clear that's where the low-cost players are heading.

        1. Spazturtle Silver badge

          Re: Thanks but

          There is a form factor called NF1 which is the same as M.2 but slightly wider so you can fit 2 rows of chips on the PCB. Image:

          These come in sizes up to 16TB (currently) and you can fit 32 of them in a 1U server.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Thanks but

          I didn't mean to suggest those 100 TB SSDs could slot into a standard PC as a 3.5" drive. But smaller enterprise drives like 4TB or 8TB easily could, and wouldn't be a cooling problem.

  2. Alan Brown Silver badge


    I'd be happy if they produced NVMe "performance" 500GB drives which could write faster than 240MB/s and read faster than 400MB/s (Elitedesk 800 G4, and testing shows it _is_ the drives at fault)

    Especially when HPe told me they're 1100+MB/s and are now backpedalling on that.

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