Intel has announced a brand new solid state drive and it's a complete monster. With up to 32TB of storage space, it's not only a new drive, but it's a brand new form factor too. Described as a "Ruler," for its ludicrous length, the PCIexpress SSD measures 12-inches long. Despite its size though, Intel claims that the DC P4500 is the densest SSD ever created and will run totally silent. Although that's not a major feature compared to most SSDs, for servers running a larger number of hard drives, that is potentially very exciting.
SSDs have progressed leaps and bounds in the past few years. While a 100GB SATA III SSD would have cost you $500 or more a decade ago, it can now be had for $50 or less. SSDs are far cheaper than they've ever been and far bigger too, although Intel's new drive does take things to a new level.
Set to be available in 4TB, 8TB, 16TB, and 32TB versions, the DC P4500 uses Intel's 3D NAND flash chips stacked 64-deep, as per Hexus. Better yet, these drives can be stacked together in single servers, potentially leading to petabytes of storage space on compatible systems.
We're told that 32 of these drives can fit into a single 1U server slot.
Although the lengthy design does make it hard to imagine fitting such a drive into anything but servers, that length makes for a very large heatspreader, which means keeping the drive cool is no problem at all. It requires half the airflow of a traditional SSD to keep it cool, Intel claims, which could help cut back on air-conditioning costs at datacenters if these were to see mass adoption.
Image source: Intel