Micron Ships First Quad-Level Cell SSD
Micron Technology has started shipments of the industry’s first SSD built on revolutionary quad-level cell (QLC) NAND technology. This was unveiled at Micron’s 2018 Analyst and Investor Event, the Micron 5210 ION SSD provides 33 percent more bit density than triple-level cell (TLC) NAND, addressing segments previously serviced with hard disk drives, which when this trickles down should allow lower cost for higher capacity SSDs. The introduction of new QLC-based SSDs positions Micron as a leader (Samsung doesn’t have theirs ready yet) in providing higher capacity at lower costs to address the read-intensive yet performance-sensitive cloud storage needs of AI, big data, business intelligence, content delivery and database systems.
Micron Moves Past TLC NAND To Quad Cell NAND
As workloads evolve to meet the ever-increasing demands for real-time data insights and analytics, data centers increasingly need the capacity, speed, reliability and steady state performance that enterprise flash storage provides. Micron QLC NAND – reaching densities of 1 terabit with its next-generation 64-layer 3D NAND structure – is optimized to meet these demands and make SATA SSD performance and capacity more approachable than ever before.
“This breakthrough QLC SSD will usher in a new generation of storage products that allows enterprise and cloud customers to experience the benefits of NAND flash across an expanding array of workloads that were previously relegated to slow, power-hungry hard drives. This innovative solution is another example of Micron’s accelerating momentum in bringing high value solutions to market and creating true value for customers.”
– Micron Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer, Sumit Sadana
Available in a 2.5-inch form factor, compared to the traditional 3.5-inch HDD, the Micron 5210 ION SSD reduces server sprawl by packing more performance into fewer racks, which allows data centers to save on expensive power and cooling costs. The 5210 ION SSD complements Micron’s existing storage portfolio, offering cloud customers greater performance and capacity options for cost-sensitive, read-dependent applications.
“Enterprise datacenters are constantly challenged to deliver faster, cheaper, and higher capacity storage,” said Jeff Janukowicz, research vice president at IDC. “For read-intensive and performance sensitive workloads, QLC enterprise SATA SSDs provide an affordable way to move enterprise applications to flash and have the opportunity to increase the addressable market for flash in the enterprise.”
The Micron 5210 ION SSD addresses the most stringent customer requirements by delivering the full enterprise feature set of Micron’s SATA SSDs. Leveraging the proven architecture of the 5200 series SATA SSD, the 5210 ION SSD simplifies the qualification process by providing customers with a known design for their data center build-out. Customers will also be able to leverage Micron’s unique Flex Capacity feature to custom-configure the drive’s endurance and write performance for workloads that have a higher mix of writes but are still mostly read-intensive.
Pricing And Availability
The Micron 5210 ION SSD is now shipping to strategic enablement partners and customers, with broad market availability expected in the fall of 2018. To meet market needs, the Micron 5210 ION SSD will be available in a 2.5-inch (7mm) form factor in capacities ranging from 1.92TB to 7.68TB. Micron plans to continue innovating with QLC NAND in other interfaces to expand offerings across its product portfolio and offer even greater capacities in the future. So no word yet on when we can see this on store shelves.