One of the world’s largest SSD manufacturers just presented a groundbreaking development that could eventually render the technology obsolete.
In a paper delivered in a Generative AI Focus Session, Micron – best known for its computer memory and data storage solutions – announced NVDRAM (non-volatile dynamic random access memory), its take on a type of memory called Ferroelectric RAM (FeRAM), which outperforms NAND-based SSDs in terms of speed and durability.
FeRAM leverages the properties of ferroelectric materials (typically lead zirconate titanate) to store information, a departure from the traditional electric charge-based storage. This method offers faster data access and a higher endurance level compared to NAND flash memory, commonly used in SSDs.
A replacement for Optane
The new technology is also non-volatile, meaning it retains data even when the power is turned off, similar to SSDs. However, the advantage of FeRAM is that it can accomplish this without the wear and tear that SSDs famously experience, giving it a significantly longer lifespan.
Micron describes NVDRAM as “a world’s first dual-layer, high-performance, high-density (32Gb) and stackable and nonvolatile Ferroelectric memory technology” and it is largely viewed as a follow up to the company’s defunct Optane storage-class memory.
Despite these impressive features, this revolutionary technology will not be available to consumers in the near future due to the high production costs associated with FeRAM.
The company’s initial focus will instead be on industrial applications, where the need for fast, durable, and reliable data storage is essential. Blocks & Files, which reported on Micron’s new technology, says: “We would envisage that Micron is already exploring commercial possibilities with potential server partners and large scale Gen AI users.”
Nevertheless, Micron’s foray into FeRAM could mark a significant milestone in the evolution of data storage technology and it’s expected that a CXL-accessed NVDRAM product could be on the horizon.