A 20 TB SSD for $300 Is Possible: Manufacturers Believe They Can Make One by 2027

  • Kioxia, a well-known SSD manufacturer, claims that it will introduce 1,000-layer 3D NAND flash chips in 2027.

  • It also promises densities of 100 GB per square inch. Today’s densities are between 20 and 30 GB.

A $300 20 TB SSD Is Possible: Manufacturers Believe It Will Be Ready in 2027
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Over the past few years, it became evident in the storage world that if you wanted more capacity, you had to go with traditional hard drives. If you wanted speed, you had to go with SSDs. The cost per gigabyte for SSDs is still higher, especially when you look at 2 TB or 4 TB drives, but that could change in a few years.

Layers matter. Recently, SSD makers have taken advantage of increasingly advanced 3D NAND flash chips, where the number of layers in memory cells that group together in a vertical structure kept growing.

The 2022 Samsung 990 Pro uses 176-layer TLC (triple-level-cell) NAND flash chips. SK Hynix announced in 2023 that it will begin mass production of 238-layer chips and currently has prototypes with 321 layers. However, things are about to get even better.

1,000 layers. SSD manufacturer Kioxia claims that it will introduce chips with up to 1,000 layers in 2027, a staggering number for spectacular devices in price and performance. The company’s most advanced chips have 162 layers, although it's likely that will introduce 218-layer chips soon.

And they’ll be even denser. Kioxia isn’t stopping there. In addition to integrating NAND chips with more layers, it wants the density to be truly spectacular. Today, chips are available with 20 to 30 GB of capacity per square inch, but the company is aiming for densities of 100 GB.

Samsung is a bit more pessimistic. The leading South Korean semiconductor manufacturer is a benchmark in the storage segment, but Kioxia’s goal is further away. At a recent event, Samsung executives discussed the feasibility of NAND chips with 1,000 layers, which won’t arrive before 2030.

20 TB for $300. According to PC Watch, if Kioxia’s plans come to fruition by 2027, we could be talking about SSDs with a capacity of 20 TB and a price tag of around $300.

Ridiculous cost per gigabyte. Today, you can find 20 TB hard drives for less than $400. However, this cost per gigabyte ($0.02) is currently unreachable for higher-capacity SSDs. An 8 TB Samsung 870 drive is about $650, which means its cost per gigabyte of $0.080, four times more than the HDD... and not even close to the capacity it offers.

Patience. The evolution of storage technologies suggests that obtaining 20 TB SSD drives for $300 is feasible, but the technical challenges to achieving them are enormous. So, as Samsung points out, we must wait a little longer. However, when these units appear, we’ll have to see where traditional hard drives go.

Related | Intel Is Already Mass-Producing Chips on the Intel 3 Node. Its Competition With TSMC and Samsung Has Begun

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