SK hynix as part of its Flash Memory Summit 2023 activities has a few development updates. One of the biggest is that it has a new denser NAND that will in turn lead to newer denser SSDs. The company also has updates for its PCIe Gen5 and Gen6 SSD plans.
SK hynix Sampling 321-Layer NAND For Denser SSDs
SSD capacity has been chasing hard drive capacity, and in recent cases far exceeding it. Now, SK hynix says it is sampling 321-layer 1Tb NAND. That is an upgrade to the existing 238-layer 512Gb NAND. Denser NAND means that each wafer off of the manufacturing line has more capacity and each NAND package on a SSD can also have more capacity. That drives SSD capacities up and often prices per GB down.
In addition to the NAND updates, the company is working on its PCIe Gen5 enterprise SSDs and UFS 4.0. It also committed to PCIe Gen6 and UFS 5.0 in the future.
There is a huge demand for fast NVMe storage in the data center right now and that is being met in two ways. The first is that the large capacity NVMe SSDs that we have been reviewing recently are displacing hard drives and tiered hard drive/ RAID controller solutions where the capacity was needed. The second is as primary storage for different types of applications. As one would imagine, SK hynix called out generative AI during its release materials since that is a hot topic.
This is exciting since it means denser SSDs. Our hope is that the new 321-layer 1Tb NAND leads to 1TB as becoming the practical minimum we see for client SSDs in the future and enabling even larger enterprise SSDs. Still, it takes some time from a process announcement of new NAND sampling to shipping drives.
Stay tuned, we will have more from the show floor today and for the rest of this week. The STH team is at FMS 2023.