A solid state drive with 1,000 TB ‘usable capacity’ could launch by 2023

(Image credit: Nimbus Data)

In an exclusive email exchange with TechRadar Pro, CEO and founder of Nimbus Data Thomas Isakovich revealed that solid state drives with capacities of up to 400TB are on the horizon.

"We can do 200TB in 2021 and likely 400TB by 2023," he said, in reference to the unformatted storage capacity of the company's yet-to-be-announced SSDs. This is a symbolically significant milestone, because a prospective SSD with a native capacity of 400TB equals 1PB in tape capacity.

Tape vendors usually deliver a native/compressed number for tape storage. The largest tape size, LTO-8, currently tops 12TB native and 30TB compressed, while LTO-9 (expected to land later this year) is set to double the capacity to 24TB (60TB compressed).

In other words, you would need at least 17 of these tapes to match the expected capacity of a 400TB Nimbus Data SSD.

While the theoretical Nimbus drive is likely to be a few orders of magnitude more expensive, it will probably be much smaller (as it doesn’t need a separate tape drive) and far faster.

Nimbus Data is behind the world’s largest solid state drive to date, the $40,000 100TB ExaDrive DC, and has remained unchallenged for two years now. The full email interview, set to be published next week, covers topics including:

  • Nimbus Data's view on computational storage
  • Where Ultra High Capacity (UHC) solid state drives fit in the storage continuum
  • Why no big vendors have released a drive bigger than 32TB
  • Why 3.5-inch SSDs are here to stay
  • What's inside the 100TB drive

So, make sure to keep your eyes peeled.

Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.