Intel IDF 2015 is the gift that just keeps on giving. We’re still going through all the information Intel released during the event and now we have a prediction on the future of SSDs. As many of you know, Intel is quite active in the SSD market, with their enterprise and consumer drives. Intel also has a stake in IMFT, a joint venture with Micron to produce NAND. Given this, Intel is projecting that SSDs will be over 30TB by 2018 and surpass 100TB in 2019. Compared to Toshiba’s expectations, these are pretty conservative.
In order to drive demand for such huge drives, Intel is expecting datacentres and the enterprise segment to adopt more and more flash storage. Right now, SSDs are generally only used to cache “hot” data, with the majority of storage still being hard drives. As workloads change, Intel is expecting SSDs to be used more and more as speed and latency become more important and replace hard drives for data storage. Another aspect is that as NVMe gains traction, the reduced overhead and better speeds/latency will further exaggerate the differences between SSDs and HDDs.
With the arrival of 3D Xpoint and faster 3D NAND technologies, it looks like Intel is planning on moving SSDs to both replace some of what DRAM does while also replacing hard drives. With SSDs taking the consumer and enterprise segments by storm, hard disk drive manufacturers should probably hurry with their HAMR developments. Even if SSDs are wildly successful, I don’t see hard drives disappearing just yet as long as they can compete on price. You can find Intel’s full presentation here.