Solid-state drives (SSDs) have quickly become the go-to data storage option in the last few years, replacing the spinning disks they used to coexist within the same computer.
However, the technology used in SSDs has been around for decades, and it’s starting to show its age. Several of the world’s largest tech companies are already working on potential replacements for SSDs, which could become available within the next decade.
In the digital transformation era, the global data storage archive keeps growing bigger. Hence sustainable storage needs to keep evolving.
According to a Digital Economy Report, data creation and recreation will experience increased growth of 23% by 2025. Here are some revolutionary data storage expected to meet these needs.
The early SSDs used single-level cell (SLC) NAND flash, which records data one bit per cell and can withstand 100,000 writes per cell.
One of the primary goals of NAND flash research has been to lower the cost per bit and improve the maximum chip capacity so that flash memory can compete with magnetic storage technologies like hard disks.
NAND storage has found a home in devices that often upload and replace huge files.
DNA storage employs DNA density to store vast volumes of data in extremely small sizes. A single gram of DNA can store 215 petabytes of data, or 215,000,000 gigabytes. Other storage technologies pale in comparison to this density.
Previous research by Science reveals that DNA could store global data in one place.
However, because the writing speeds are just 400 bytes per second, this technology will take some time to become feasible. DNA is also highly costly, with a single megabyte costing thousands of dollars.
The shift towards newer technology doesn’t mean a paradigm shift from SSDs such as MLC and TLC. Nonetheless, we’ll continue to witness a rebalancing away from traditional storage architectures. We can expect more disaggregated models to accommodate large-scale storage needs.
There are already plans to create ultra-large SSDs that exceed 64TB. Enterprise and HPC applications presently require 16-32 TB. A 256TB SSD requirement is expected for these applications in 2-3 years.
Although the next HDD generation is predicted to reach 80-100 TB, the SSD can already surpass that density with 1Tb TLC.
Two Dimensional Magnetic Recording (TDMR) is a Seagate read-back technology. TDMR tries to overcome the problem of reading data from densely packed hard disk tracks, where the read head picks up interference from tracks surrounding the one being read.
Multiple read heads on TDMR disks pick up data from various tracks, then figure out which data is needed, converting noise into valuable data that can be analyzed and deleted when no longer needed.
Crystal etching or 5D Optical data storage is a technique for writing data in nano-scale dots using laser pulses. The data is written on a quartz disc with a 3-dimensional structure that can hold up to 360 terabytes of data.
Data in this format can theoretically stay stable for billions of years. The aim of Crystal Etching is to store large amounts of data in non-photosensitive transparent materials like fused quartz.
Though this technology is promising, it is still in its early stages. It may also continue to be too expensive for typical data storage applications.
You now have a list of potential technologies that could revolutionize storage to larger, more sustainable, and faster solutions.
As global storage requirements grow, we’ll need to consider various options to boost performance and data safety. However, if you need new storage solutions, ensure you’re armed with the right information to make the best decision.