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A Storage Sea Change: Flash Making Huge Leaps

Wired’s Brian Barrett delves into the latest and greatest developments in flash storage. “You’ve likely heard,” writes, “about Samsung’s 16TB hard drive, by far the world’s largest. That is an eye-popping number, a large enough leap forward that it’s difficult to fully process. And the most exciting thing about that 16TB hard drive? It’s just a hint of what’s coming next.”

The piece goes on to say, “In 2013, Samsung announced a new way of approaching flash storage manufacturing. Rather than place the cells along a single layer, as had been standard practice since NAND flash was invented in the 1980s, it would stack them vertically. That allows for much greater density, which gives you much more storage space.

“Samsung’s solution, called V-NAND, has seen remarkable gains since its introduction. In the first year, the company stacked 24 layers on a single die, while in 2014 it managed 36. The 16TB SSD kicks that up to 48.”

The developments companies such as Samsung and Toshiba are bringing out in solid state storage, the article suggests, will push past some of the biggest hurdles to developments in computing, from biotech to AI.