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Future of SSDs Not So Solid: Research

Discussion in 'News' started by btarunr, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, have concluded that solid state drives (SSDs) have a bleak future in the evolution of computing technology. They have discovered that fast flash based storage are facing come pretty glaring technology hurdles during their natural course of evolution, which they don't think it will overcome. To begin with, shrinking (miniaturizing) them, to increase capacity or decrease manufacturing costs, will severely degrade performance beyond a point, 6.5 nm silicon fab process.

    The scientists studied 45 different flash chips in various sizes, which showed that scaling of latencies and error-rates are 'tolerable' enough as the technology miniaturizes only till 6.5 nm, or the year 2024, when this fab process will be common, beyond which they question the drives' viability. Beyond this point, the more capacity you squeeze into flash memory chips, the more performance degrade (latency and error-rate scale beyond tolerable scales).

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    While the density of SSDs grows and the cost per gigabyte shrinks, "everything else about them is poised to get worse," said Laura Grupp, a graduate student at the University of California, San Diego. "This makes the future of SSDs cloudy: While the growing capacity of SSDs and high IOP rates will make them attractive for many applications, the reduction in performance that is necessary to increase capacity while keeping costs in check may make it difficult for SSDs to scale as a viable technology for some applications," the author of the study.

    The study, entitled "The Bleak Future of NAND Flash Memory", can be accessed here.

    Sources: ComputerWorld, ZDNet
  2. Sir B. Fannybottom

    Sir B. Fannybottom

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    Eh, who really needs a 2tb SSD? I'm sure they'll find some other sort of storage that's faster and uses less power than SSDs in a few years anyway
  3. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    A few (15) years ago, when I bought an 8 GB WD Caviar IDE drive for my Windows 95 PC, I thought I was set for a very, very long time.
  4. entropy13

    entropy13

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    SSDs are "doomed" so long as their $/GB is still more than 4x those of HDDs. GB per se isn't exactly the deal-breaker anyway (and the performance degradation occurs when increasing size).
    jpierce55 says thanks.
  5. ViperXTR

    ViperXTR

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    1GB capacity HDD PATA 66, good tiems lol
  6. Ross1 New Member

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    A better title would have been "Future of SSDs not so solid"
    travva, btarunr, ViperXTR and 3 others say thanks.
  7. crazyeyesreaper

    crazyeyesreaper Chief Broken Rig

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    SSDs will more then likely end up relegated to super fast cache drives as Intels SRT tech does, notice the massive increase in software and hardware versions of SSD caching for typical HDDs, most likely 120-240gb will be the max size of reliable and affordable SSDs as caching becomes more common, i can easy see 2-3TB hdds paired with 120-240gb SSDs for faster access,

    A future Idea i see is if HDDs can't further increase speeds we may soon see SSD caching with RAID 0 HDDs becore more common, as an SSD its not just the 500mb/s read write its the SEEK TIME, and low latency that matters, pair that seek time and low latency with an HDD array capable of 240 mb/s its not so bad,

    Essentially there are better ways to utilize SSDs and Intel, and a few others have already noticed this.

    Then again its not impossible that we could eventually move to a DRAM storage solution either, with capacities growing ever larger, a person could in a few years time grab the same amount of ram as they could space on an SSD, and with advances in DRAM, its not impossible to see that happen, its also far faster then anything for current storage solutions their are multiple ideas being researched as is,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-volatile_random-access_memory


    SSDs were just a performance stopgap, and are moving toward an HDD assit role as the SSD is better suited to caching data, then say upping HDD cache to insane lvls.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012
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  8. Solaris17

    Solaris17 Creator Solaris Utility DVD

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    lold
  9. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks. :)
  10. specks

    specks New Member

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    HDDs with those laser thingy for faster transfer speeds FTW
  11. bostonbuddy New Member

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    Don't agree especially w/ the growth of "mobile" computing where ssd's are pract required.
    But yeah desktops will prob use ssd magnetic hdd combos.
  12. Sir B. Fannybottom

    Sir B. Fannybottom

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    just wait till some crazy guy buys a bunch and threatens to blow up the moon if half life 3 isn't released
  13. thematrix606 New Member

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    I would like a 100TB right now, why? Because I'd be set for at least 2-4 more years.

    New games coming out are pushing 25gb, so are movies, that's 40 items per TB... which would give me the ability to store ~4000 items. Let's just say that for the sake of argument. Now, on Steam I have 350 games, most of them bought on sale :p (feel like such a woman saying this). I would love to download everything, so I never have to uninstall/install for space, or have shitty transfer speed when the servers are busy (more or less 6 out of 12 months) AND have everything backed up? I'd do the same for movies as well. While streaming is a decent idea, it's just not there yet, and definitely not for games, barely for movies.

    Just wait for super HD movies which will push 50-100gb each, and same with games, maybe 2 years from now? What then? store one movie per 150euro 128GB SSD? BAH!

    TL;DR: There's no reason to slow down in any technological region, let storage grow as fast as possible, don't listen to people saying "I have enough" because those are the same people who would have argued the world was flat, and there's no need to reach the end because you'll fall off! 'no need' xD
  14. Prima.Vera

    Prima.Vera

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    So in other words, they will no longer guarantee that your SSD will last more than 3 years....
  15. mudkip

    mudkip

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    Even if a SSD performs at half it's speed, it's still faster than a hard disk.

    I don't need 2TB SSD's, i use traditional hard disk's for storage.

    also this ''research'' paper is just more of the same old. you can't predict all technology, it's a fact.
  16. lZKoce

    lZKoce

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    That's a quite interesting article. It makes me lean more towards hybrid drives like Seagate's momentus XT. I don't think the SSD will disappear, more like they will be used in small sizes as a primary drive, as it is now. Or as some proposed as cache drives, although I doubt a regular user will go into finding out what a cache drive is.
  17. RejZoR

    RejZoR

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    The idea behind SSD's is correct. But the method to achieve that is just wrong. I can hammer my traditional HDD with tens of terabytes of data monthly. And before it will die it usually gives out other noticeable symptoms so reliability is still pretty high. But with SSD's they can just die for no reason at all without giving any warning. And will simply wear out after like 100-150 terabytes.
    Sure it should in general last for a lifetime of the device in which yu use it (5-10 years) but i still can't get past the fact it's just degrading. Plus write speed degradation because of cells clearing is stupid.

    Why can't they make a non-volatile DDR memory? Persistent data, ultra tiny latency, massive bandwidth, no wearing and no slowdowns because of cell clearing. This is imo the right way to go.
    They just have to make data persistent somehow without any power. When they achieve that, it will be pure win.
  18. AsRock

    AsRock TPU addict

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    I think it's time they pushed the i-Ram and made that shit work out.. I know if i could get one that used DDR3 and on a PCI x 16 i would of filled it with at least 4 x4GB sticks by now lol.

    For those who forgot about it or don't know about it
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000EPM9NC/?tag=tec06d-20
    m1dg3t says thanks.
  19. mixa New Member

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    This research is kinda loosy.The technology is evolving sooo fast, that it is a stupidity to predict what will happen in 10+ years from now, most likely until they get to 6,5nm fab process, the SSD's will be more or less obsolete.
    Also you should already know that the NAND Flash isn't a reliable storage, nor it will be.We may see an organic storage by the year 2025, that will replace everything that exists (not entierly ofc).
    mudkip says thanks.
  20. jpierce55

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    That and add to the fact that a couple of technologies have been mentioned on here lately that will improve normal hdd performance. The ssd may be limited to being a cache drive.

    They are way to pricey for me. I don't want to mess with multiple drives, and I have 450gb used at the moment.
  21. Steven B

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    so add more chips, no one says it has to be 2.5inches.
  22. Troika New Member

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    The future is unpredictable

    Its all nice making predictions about the future. However, the fact is, one cannot predict new technologies, which might emerge in the near future. Those unpredictable technologies might affect the entire storage industry, and render the SSDs useless, much sooner than 2024, or the other way around, they might find a way around the physical barriers, as we see them today. So, in general, a prediction for future that far ahead, is likely to fail (by the way, this is also a prediction :).

    I suggest the writers of the mentioned above article should read the Foundation trilogy, by Issac Asimov.
  23. nv40pimp New Member

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    just put a raptor drive in the oven, it should speed it up 10x

    /troll
  24. Horrux

    Horrux

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    I remember when they said there was no way to make a bus faster than 33mhz because the signal would degrade. That was way back when you had the 486 dx2 which was the first (I think?) CPU with an FSB multiplier. Then they had the DX4 which had a multiplier of 3, and a whole slew of Pentiums, and pentium pros, and so on. FSBs were stuck at 33mhz for a while because of that limitation.

    But hey, look, they researched and found ways.

    I'm betting they'll do the same with SSDs and either the definition of "flash" will change somewhat to accomodate their discoveries and make it way beyond 2024, or something. They do have 12 years to come up with a solution... ;)
  25. phanbuey

    phanbuey

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    this is a bit Malthusian... they are assuming alot with this research, and they are assuming that alot of the core technology will stay the same. What this is saying to me: certain things held constant, the current tech of SSDs is viable until 2024, which is more than fine.

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