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Sandisk smashes glass ceiling with 4TB enterprise SSD

Even bigger capacities on the way
Wed Apr 30 2014, 13:33
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SANDISK HAS ANNOUNCED the availability of its first 4TB solid-state disk (SSD) drive and said that it is just the beginning of big capacity increases it will release this year.

As part of a refresh of its enterprise Optimus SSD range, the Optimus Max is the first in a new range of expanded capacity drives from Sandisk that the company will add to further during 2014.

The INQUIRER spoke with Manuel Munstall of Sandisk about the launch, who said, "We will be releasing six terabytes later this year, with eight towards the end of the year, and so on."

The new drive is based on 19nm NAND flash chip architecture and built in the plant the company shares with Toshiba. Both companies recently announced the impending rollout of 15nm NAND flash memory chips.

We asked Munstall if he believes that there are even more exciting opportunities on the way with 15nm (1Z) chips. He said, "Of course, but we feel we've still got a lot we can do with 19nm chips. The increasing capacities we will roll out this year show there is still a lot we can do at the 19nm level."

The Optimus Max is optimised for read oriented applications such as video and photograph storage, with one to three total writes per day. Sandisk claims that this is the first SSD drive to offer SATA level performance in a SAS drive.

Sandisk is also updating the rest of the Optimus range, with five products differentiated by their suitability for different read to write ratios. The Eco series drives are capable of one to three full direct writes per day (DWPD), making it best suited to read tasks. The Ascend series drives are designed for 10 DWPD, the Ultra series drives can support 25 DWPD and the Extreme series drives are for constantly changing data at 45 DWPD.

Sandisk believes that for the first time the overall cost of SSDs for enterprise use is now comparable to that of traditional spindle drives, due to their lower power consumption, significantly reduced cooling costs, and longevity. The product lifecycle for the range is five years, however Munstall added, "Depending on usage, we've seen SSDs last well beyond that, perhaps 17, 18 years, maybe even more."

The Sandisk Optimus range is available now, with announcements of further products due in mid-May. µ

 

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