Ever going to see a $100 terabyte SSD?

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Ever going to see a $100 terabyte SSD?

Postposted on Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:44 pm

I noticed the other day, that you can get a 1 terabyte mechanical hard drive for around $100. Which got me to thinking about the future. Can anybody see a reason why we wont (eventually) see a $100 petabyte mechanical drive and a $100 terabyte solid state drive? If so, anyone care to estimate when?
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Re: Ever going to see a $100 terabyte SSD?

Postposted on Tue Dec 24, 2013 2:12 pm

Used to be able to get a 1TB hdd before the floods for $50. A 1TB SSD for $100, probably not for a long long long time in retail, 2nd hand though in a couple years.
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Re: Ever going to see a $100 terabyte SSD?

Postposted on Tue Dec 24, 2013 2:12 pm

I'd say within 5 years (assuming no unforeseen accidents happening ie, flooding). 'Eh, maybe late 5 years early 6 years.
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Re: Ever going to see a $100 terabyte SSD?

Postposted on Tue Dec 24, 2013 4:18 pm

Terabyte SSDs already exist so it's just a matter of making them cheap--I'd say in about two years the discount brands will hit 100 bucks, another year for something worthy of being a main drive. I doubt petabyte storage will ever happen at any price, at least not using any existing or near-future technologies and form factors, because of various physics limitations.
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Re: Ever going to see a $100 terabyte SSD?

Postposted on Tue Dec 24, 2013 5:01 pm

About two years makes sense to me too.

The prices for SSDs should plummet exponentially given increases in demand, production, and technology all happening at the same time.
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Re: Ever going to see a $100 terabyte SSD?

Postposted on Tue Dec 24, 2013 5:19 pm

I would be very iffy on using cheap high density SSD's, mostly because of the tradeoffs associated with the technology. I'm content using hdds/raid for storage, and ssd's for OS/apps, unless there's some new advances in durability. I also think there's a lot of room for improving hdd performance by using hybrid tech, but hdd manufacturers haven't taken it serious, and are only concerned about hybrid laptop drives.
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Re: Ever going to see a $100 terabyte SSD?

Postposted on Tue Dec 24, 2013 6:18 pm

Unless there is some major breakthrough in hard disk storage, it will be surpassed by solid state drives (not necessarily flash based) in both capacity and price long before it gets to 1 petabyte in a single drive. If the market for spinning platter based data storage dries up there may never be 1PB HDDs.
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Re: Ever going to see a $100 terabyte SSD?

Postposted on Tue Dec 24, 2013 7:12 pm

l33t-g4m3r wrote:but hdd manufacturers haven't taken it serious, and are only concerned about hybrid laptop drives.


HDD manufacturers yes, but SSD caching isn't uncommon in the enterprise. We're not talking single drives though, but arrays of mixed mechanical and solid state.
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Re: Ever going to see a $100 terabyte SSD?

Postposted on Tue Dec 24, 2013 7:32 pm

Of course we will see them.
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Re: Ever going to see a $100 terabyte SSD?

Postposted on Tue Dec 24, 2013 7:37 pm

1TB mechanical hard drives are just around $70 these days. As for 1TB SSDs coming down to just $100, two years seems like a very optimistic figure. I'll say, 3-5 years.
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Re: Ever going to see a $100 terabyte SSD?

Postposted on Tue Dec 24, 2013 7:48 pm

I think it will take more than 2 or three years. While transistors do continue to shrink (albeit at a reduced pace), improvement in the cost per transistor has slowed greatly.

http://www.extremetech.com/computing/12 ... -worthless
and
http://www.altera.com/technology/system ... s-era.html

Both articles forecast only a ~30% drop over the next 4 years. Even if we assume that multi-level cell design and fabrication will improve, I don't think this will be enough to drive a TB under $100.
Last edited by Geonerd on Wed Dec 25, 2013 2:35 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Ever going to see a $100 terabyte SSD?

Postposted on Tue Dec 24, 2013 9:12 pm

WhatMeWorry wrote:I noticed the other day, that you can get a 1 terabyte mechanical hard drive for around $100. Which got me to thinking about the future. Can anybody see a reason why we wont (eventually) see a $100 petabyte mechanical drive and a $100 terabyte solid state drive? If so, anyone care to estimate when?

Consider that 1-petabyte equals 1,000 terabytes, and we've just recently hit the 1TB/platter density in 3.5" drives. Since most drives max-out at five (5) platters, 1PB would require at least a 200-fold increase in areal density. I'll stop short of saying "impossible", but I have serious doubts about whether the laws of physics will allow for a 1-petabyte mechanical drive. At least in any reasonable consumer-size form factor.

As for the near-term future, I think mechanical drives will continue to be very popular for the next 3 years or so, based solely on price. Once 512GB SSDs become commonplace at a reasonable cost, they should start to replace mechanical drives for the majority of usages. In 5+ years I can see a VERY steep decline in mechanical drive usage by the average consumer. Of course mechanical drives won't be replaced anytime soon for mass-storage.

I'm still holding my breath and hoping for a 256GB+ flash-based iPod Classic.
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Re: Ever going to see a $100 terabyte SSD?

Postposted on Tue Dec 24, 2013 9:20 pm

I really can't see myself buying a mechanical drive if it's not to put into an NAS.
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Re: Ever going to see a $100 terabyte SSD?

Postposted on Tue Dec 24, 2013 11:48 pm

Interesting question. The problem is NAND die shrinking has caught up with the industry itself... in 2008 it was 50nm (behind Intel processors) and now it's 19nm (ahead of Intel processors). So prices won't continue to fall like they have been. Margins are getting tight enough that SSD companies need their own fabs just to stay competitive. That leaves higher density chips as the main source for further price reductions. I'd guess 3-5 years with that in mind, assuming one of the multiple promising technologies doesn't come out first and usurp NAND.
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Re: Ever going to see a $100 terabyte SSD?

Postposted on Wed Dec 25, 2013 1:03 am

I think we will see a $100 1 TB SSD in 5-10 years. If you're willing to sacrifice performance and/or reliability for capacity, maybe sooner.

I don't think we will see 1 PB HDDs based on anything resembling current tech, at any price point affordable by mere mortals, ever. We're approaching the limits imposed by the laws of physics and economics. 1 PB is just too much of a stretch; I suspect mechanical storage will become obsolete long before we reach that point.
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Re: Ever going to see a $100 terabyte SSD?

Postposted on Thu Dec 26, 2013 9:32 am

If a market for a petabyte mechanical drive evolves, either the technology will allow it or the form factor it's built around will change. Can you say "full height hard drive"? Sure you can! That's my thought. Drive form factors will change to allow petabyte mechanical drives. IF the drive manages to migrate downward far enough to reach the average consumer, it'll probably be an external drive attached by the latest interface du jour.
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Re: Ever going to see a $100 terabyte SSD?

Postposted on Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:48 am

piccolopete wrote:If a market for a petabyte mechanical drive evolves, either the technology will allow it or the form factor it's built around will change. Can you say "full height hard drive"? Sure you can! That's my thought. Drive form factors will change to allow petabyte mechanical drives. IF the drive manages to migrate downward far enough to reach the average consumer, it'll probably be an external drive attached by the latest interface du jour.

There are a number of problems with simply scaling existing mechanical designs back up. As track density goes up, maintaining the tolerances required for accurate tracking gets more difficult. Making the drive physically larger only exacerbates this, since thermal expansion/contraction effects and general mechanical "slop" issues also get worse with increasing size. And then you've got the more massive head actuator (which kills seek times and increases power consumption), and the larger platters (which hurt rotational latency since they don't spin as fast, and drive power usage up due to increased air resistance).
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Re: Ever going to see a $100 terabyte SSD?

Postposted on Thu Dec 26, 2013 11:43 am

just brew it! wrote:
piccolopete wrote:If a market for a petabyte mechanical drive evolves, either the technology will allow it or the form factor it's built around will change. Can you say "full height hard drive"? Sure you can! That's my thought. Drive form factors will change to allow petabyte mechanical drives. IF the drive manages to migrate downward far enough to reach the average consumer, it'll probably be an external drive attached by the latest interface du jour.

There are a number of problems with simply scaling existing mechanical designs back up. As track density goes up, maintaining the tolerances required for accurate tracking gets more difficult. Making the drive physically larger only exacerbates this, since thermal expansion/contraction effects and general mechanical "slop" issues also get worse with increasing size. And then you've got the more massive head actuator (which kills seek times and increases power consumption), and the larger platters (which hurt rotational latency since they don't spin as fast, and drive power usage up due to increased air resistance).


This is all definitely a big part of it, though WD/Seagate I believe both are targeting 16TB in the very near future.

I'm quite sure we'll see 2.5" 1TB solid state drives for $100 in the next 10 years, they are only $469 today - in a mainstream drive. The cost of that process will come down to the point that it's cheap. Look at how cheap complex ICs are made at 90nm now.
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Re: Ever going to see a $100 terabyte SSD?

Postposted on Thu Dec 26, 2013 1:21 pm

just brew it! wrote:I think we will see a $100 1 TB SSD in 5-10 years. If you're willing to sacrifice performance and/or reliability for capacity, maybe sooner.

I don't think we will see 1 PB HDDs based on anything resembling current tech, at any price point affordable by mere mortals, ever. We're approaching the limits imposed by the laws of physics and economics. 1 PB is just too much of a stretch; I suspect mechanical storage will become obsolete long before we reach that point.


The funny thing is, I recall one of my professors in college saying the same thing about drives larger than a couple of gigabytes - basically the argument was that the physical medium was getting about as far as it would ever get, and besides who in the heck would ever NEED that much storage? ;)

Granted, that was in 1993 but still... I tend to agree with you that it's more likely that something else will come along to get us to a petabyte, but I've learned to not underestimate the nerds :)

As for the original question, I think $100 TB SSD's aren't that far off, maybe a few years.
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Re: Ever going to see a $100 terabyte SSD?

Postposted on Thu Dec 26, 2013 1:34 pm

Something else to consider on the mechanical HDD question: One of the driving forces behind the rapid rise of consumer HDD capacities over the past decade or so has been demand for drives to store multimedia content. Now, with the rise of streaming and the associated migration of a lot of content "into the cloud", there won't be as much pressure on HDD manufacturers to provide cheap bulk storage for the masses.

I suspect that ultra-high capacity mechanical storage will likely become more of a datacenter/enterprise niche product.
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Re: Ever going to see a $100 terabyte SSD?

Postposted on Thu Dec 26, 2013 1:37 pm

I think we'll definitely get to Petabyte HDDs, but not for a while.

IBM's research already showed that magnetic storage can scale down to as small as 12 atoms per bit, and that's orders of magnitude smaller than what HDDs are using now. Anyways the theoretical stuff has shown us the limits of what can be done with magnetic tech, it's now up to production to take us there.
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Re: Ever going to see a $100 terabyte SSD?

Postposted on Thu Dec 26, 2013 5:55 pm

cphite wrote:The funny thing is, I recall one of my professors in college saying the same thing about drives larger than a couple of gigabytes - basically the argument was that the physical medium was getting about as far as it would ever get, and besides who in the heck would ever NEED that much storage? ;)

Granted, that was in 1993 but still... I tend to agree with you that it's more likely that something else will come along to get us to a petabyte, but I've learned to not underestimate the nerds :)

I don't think that argument applies here. I'm no storage guru, but I know that magnetic storage is now a very mature tech, and it will soon reach a point where you're only talking about only a handful of atoms comprising each bit. Unless you know how to break the laws of physics, there's no way to go smaller than an atom. Considering that we're currently at 1TB/platter and 3.5" drives max-out at five (5) platters, 1 petabyte (1,000TB) looks like one heck of a longshot, even with significant improvements. Just getting past 1TB/platter requires quite a bit of effort.


That's not to say we'll never have a 1PB drive, just not with anything resembling current tech.
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Re: Ever going to see a $100 terabyte SSD?

Postposted on Thu Dec 26, 2013 6:24 pm

I remember when SCSI drives were stagnated at 36/73/146 for the longest time ... then poof now we have 2TB 7200 drive (not even forgetting that for a while 7200RPM SCSI drives ceased to exist.)

I'm confident that the need for Enterprise storage will only accelerate. We moved to 2k storage, then to 4k and now to crazy 8k/16k - plus they store all of film from every video ...
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Re: Ever going to see a $100 terabyte SSD?

Postposted on Thu Dec 26, 2013 6:25 pm

WhatMeWorry wrote:I noticed the other day, that you can get a 1 terabyte mechanical hard drive for around $100.
You can get a 3.0 TB mechanical hard-drive for around $100. 1.0 TB drives have been cheaper than that for a very long time.
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