Micron's bet: Quad-level cell NAND SSDs will finally replace HDDs

The company's Micron 5210 ION enterprise SATA SSD is now generally available and aimed at artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning and other intensive workloads.

Micron Technology is making a big bet that its quad-level cell (QLC) NAND technology will make hard disk drives extinct in data centers in favor of solid state drives.

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The company's Micron 5210 ION enterprise SATA SSD is now generally available and aimed at artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning and other intensive workloads. Micron also said that the retail pricing on a dollar per GB basis is similar to 2.4TB 10K hard disk drives.

Micron outlined the new drive on its blog and made it clear that the digital transformation crowd is its target audience. Micron said it was shipping the 5210 ION SSD in May. The Micron 5210 ION SSD boasts 33 percent higher bit density than triple-level cell (TLC) flash storage, delivers 175 times faster random reads and 30 times faster random rights than the largest hard disk drives.

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Now we've heard this SSD-replacing-HDD storyline before. And all the growth in the storage sector is with SSDs. However, Micron is arguing that QLC NAND drives will be used for hot data and real-time speed and TLC will be used for cool/warm storage tiers. Today, HDDs are on those cool storage tiers.

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Micron said that its 5210 SSD is available in a HDD-compatible 2.5-inch form factor in capacities of 1.92TB, 3.84TB and 7.68TB.

Target workloads for Micron include:

  • Analytics and big data;
  • AI data lakes;
  • Machine and deep learning data lakes;
  • Large block stories and active archives;
  • SQL databases and business intelligence;
  • NoSQL databases;
  • Content delivery;
  • User authentication.

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Here are the specifications.

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