Micron kicks off the party a bit early this year with the release of its M510DC. This new SSD marks the debut of Micron 16nm NAND in an enterprise-class SSD. Questions have been looming about whether the endurance of 16nm and 15nm lithography NAND is suitable for more demanding applications. 2D planar NAND has enough gas in its tank to get us to the 3D NAND promised land. However, make no mistake: the planar NAND gravy train is rolling to a stop.
Intel is on the bench for this generation of NAND, but Micron intends to prove 16nm MLC's viability in the enterprise. Each successive generation of 2D NAND has increased its yield ramps faster and faster simply due to the manufacturing experience gained with the previous generations. Unfortunately, the learning process has to begin anew with 3D NAND, which will lead to increased manufacturing time and lower yields during the initial runs. This ultimately equates to extra cost.
These last vestiges of 2D NAND are very cost-effective because the tooling, expertise and processes are all standard by now, and Micron designed the M510DC to offer great performance at a cutthroat price point. Cost is always a critical component of any product, but there is a fearsome lineup of defending SSD champs already on the field. Now it's Micron's turn to see if they can hit a home run. Join us on Tom's IT Pro to see if the M510DC makes the cut to be Micron's latest MVP.