Micron Ships Industry’s First Quad-Level Cell NAND SSD

Micron is shipping the industry’s first SATA solid state drive (SSD) built on revolutionary quad-level cell (QLC) NAND technology. Unveiled at Micron’s 2018 Analyst and Investor Event, the Micron® 5210 ION SSD provides an unprecedented 33% rise in bit density to directly challenge the economics of hard disk drives (HDDs). The introduction of new QLC-based SSDs positions Micron to furnish higher storage density at lower costs to address the read-intensive, performance-sensitive storage needs of artificial intelligence, big data, business intelligence, content delivery and database systems.

As workloads evolve to meet the ever-increasing demands for real-time data insight and analytics, data centers increasingly need the capacity, speed, reliability and steady-state performance that enterprise flash storage provides. Until the introduction of QLC NAND technology, read-focused applications had been relegated to HDDs because affordability was the remaining consideration that put SSDs beyond the reach of these workloads. Micron QLC NAND—reaching densities of 1 terabit with its next-generation 64-layer structure—is optimized to make SSD performance and capacity more approachable than ever before via the SATA interface, allowing data centers to fully realize their infrastructure investment.

The Micron 5210 ION SSD is now shipping to strategic enablement partners and customers, with broad market availability expected in fall 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, enabling more flash capacity per 2U chassis.

Benefits of QLC-based SSDs

  • Lower TCO: While performance focused, read-centric workloads rely on massive arrays of HDDs to deliver the results that users demand, QLC-based SSDs do it with fewer drives — lowering the total cost of ownership.
  • More Capacity: QLC packs 33% more bits per cell than its predecessors, enabling immense gains at the system, rack and data center levels that are more cost-effective.
  • Smaller Footprint: QLC technology’s ability to increase per-server density reduces rack space by up to 7.7X compared to HDDs, saving precious and expensive data center real estate.
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