Intel® 144-Layer 3D NAND Flash Turns the Memory World on its End

Apr 01, 2021

Intel 144-Layer 3D NAND Flash Memory

Just when you thought Moore's Law was catching up to memory manufacturers, Intel® changed the game with its 144-Layer 3D NAND Flash Memory. For years, gains in memory performance were marginal. The world inside memory cells was getting tighter, yet each cell remained the same size and could store only two bits. It was like shrinking the lot size in a housing development without changing each house's size or capacity.

Then, in 2015, innovation struck. For years, memory cells stored two bits per cell. The size of electrons themselves was beginning to restrict storage capacity. That was until Intel engineers began stacking memory cells. All of a sudden, three bits per cell could be processed. By expanding the memory cells upward, like adding floors to a building, an SSD could house 50% more data in the same footprint.

This discovery allowed servers and other devices to store more memory in the same amount of rack space. In turn, this enabled solution providers and other enterprises to enhance the performance of their applications.

Today, technology leaders can expect to experience another revolution in storage. That's because Intel recently announced two Quad Level Cell (QLC) and one Tri-Level Cell (TLC) addition to its line of 3D NAND SSDs.

As a result, four bits per cell can be stored, creating room for more data while occupying almost no extra space. The sky appears to be the limit as Intel continues to build its high-speed memory capabilities onward and upward. Each new Intel 3D NAND SSD offers different benefits, so let's review all three:

Intel® SSD 670p

This M.2 PCIe 3.0 SSD offers a 144-layer QLC design. Plus, it's non-volatile (NAND) type storage. Therefore, whatever data is in memory is not lost even in the event of a power outage. Another benefit of the SSD 670P is end-to-end data protection and power-loss notification support.

What does all of this mean in the real world? Specific applications rely on the availability of near-instantaneous data. The low latency of the 670p can enhance the performance of several real-time computing applications. Some examples are online fraud detection, online transaction processing, and other high-performance computing applications.

Intel® SSD D7-P5510

Moving into the higher capacities, this 144-Layer 3D NAND U.2 PCIe 4.0 SSD uses the older TLC format but comes in 3.84 and 7.68 TB configurations. It's one of two newer boards designed for cloud-level workloads. Therefore, a single SSD in a single-rack server can now rival entire data centers' one-time capacity.

With the D7-P5510 comes improved device health monitoring, flexibility for multi-tenant and virtualized environments, and new algorithms and other features for cloud-level memory workloads.

Intel® SSD D5-P5316

This 144-Layer 3D NAND PCIe 4.0 SSD offers the largest capacity and endurance of the three new arrivals with 15.36 and 30.72 TB options. It's available in U.2 and E1.L form factors and can perform 4.6 million random reads with 512-byte block size. Like the 670P, the D5-P5316 also uses QLC architecture. This drive allows cloud providers and their tenants access to more memory than ever at low latency.

With more companies deploying more applications remotely and more solution providers creating innovative applications, the demand for cloud storage and performance couldn't be more robust. According to Intel, the DP-P5316 offers 200% better read performance, 38% better random read performance, and 48% lower latency than HDDs.

Solid-State Memory, Solid Advantages

When we think of storage, it's a given that more is better. But sometimes, we forget that it's not just the amount of memory that's crucial but the rate at which our stored data can be accessed. Storage plays a vital role in the overall performance of any server. After all, a processor is only as fast as the stream of data it receives. No CPU can process data it doesn't have, so the lower an SSD's latency, the better.

Additionally, it's not just the latency and size of the storage that gives SSD its advantages. Unlike older hard drives, data on solid-state drives is stored in an orderly fashion. Therefore, the drive's performance isn't degraded over time by random reading and writing, and thus, SSDs don't require defragging.

A Partner for Selecting the Right Memory Solution

Intel®'s new 144-Layer 3D NAND SSD 670p, D7-P5510, and D5-P5316 have the power to store larger than ever amounts of data within the same amount of rack space. With lower latency, they can make that data more accessible to your CPUs for processing. As an Intel® Technology Provider as well as a Dell Technologies OEM Solutions Titanium Partner, UNICOM Engineering has been driving next-gen solutions with our partners for decades. Learn more about how UNICOM Engineering can help build on next-generation technologies like the line of Intel® SSDs. Contact us for more information by visiting our website and scheduling a consultation.

Category: Technology