Hard-disk drive vendors point to the higher price of solid-state drives as a reason to keep on buying hard drives, but as Bob Dylan sang, "The Times They Are a -Changin'." The advent of 3D NAND has become a game-changer for the storage industry by increasing SSD capacity and dropping SSD prices.
By packing 32 or 64 times the capacity per die, 3D NAND will allow SSDs to increase capacity well beyond hard drive sizes. SanDisk, for example, plans 8 TB drives this year, and 16 TB drives in 2016. At the same time, vendors across the flash industry are able to back off two process node levels and obtain excellent die yields.