At the Storage Field Day 18 event on February 28, 2019 Western Digital discussed a new low-latency flash (LLF) technology positioned between 3D NAND SSDs and DRAM in terms of access latency.
Currently under development, the new lower latency flash drives will be faster and more expensive than ordinary 3D NAND but slower and cheaper than DRAM.
The new technology would be a tenth of DRAM cost but 20x more than 3D NAND using 1 bit-per-cell and 2 bit-per-cell architectures.
WD presenter Luca Fasoli, VP for memory product solutions, said: “We can actually create customised devices that are very fast…They are in the microsecond range of access time.”
Fasoli did not provide details on what kind of products the LLF will find its way to or when they could be introduced. But you should expect LFF to be used only by select applications aimed at datacenters or high-end workstations
The concept addresses the same market niche as Intel’s Optane 3D XPoint and Samsung's Z-NAND applications.