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Making data more accessible: storage innovation in data centers

April 27, 2022

Making data more accessible: storage innovation in data centers
powered by Sounder

Racks and racks of servers, storing enormous amounts of data—seems like a place where there may not be a lot of room for innovation.

But Andrew Mierau and his team at Micron, the fourth largest semiconductor company in the world, are on a mission to change the landscape of the data center, putting storage innovation at the forefront.
Join us on this episode of B2B Tech Talk as Shelby Skrhak chats with Andrew about:

  • Challenges facing the data centers when it comes to storage solutions
  • Advancements in storage innovation
  • How Micron has stayed 12-18 months ahead of its competitors
  • NAND technology and how it’s reshaping the industry
  • Where he sees technology going in the next year

Challenges to the data center

This question of what is challenging the data center is just as relevant today as it was five to ten years ago.
The biggest challenges facing the data center today are the amount of data we’re creating and the speed at which we’re creating it. According to one study, in the last two years, humans have created more data than was created in all of human history.
Read that again.
Capturing and storing data just isn’t enough anymore. You have to be able to do something with it.
And for Micron, the solution lies in NAND technology, which is the base of every SSD. NAND dictates how large an SSD can be and how quickly you can access your data.

NAND technology

What exactly is NAND technology?
It’s the building block of an SSD. Instead of a magnetic platter that stores all the 1s and 0s, NAND chips are storing those pieces of data.
Think of NAND chips as the tires on your car. When you shop for new tires, you can buy a 30,000 mile tire, or you can splurge and get a 60,000 mile tire. Your tire life is dictated by how much you drive.

NAND technology is dictated by how many times you write to the drive, and Micron’s 176 layer NAND chips mean two things for the consumer:
  1. When they can produce more bits to fit on platters, there’s more availability, and in our current world, availability is key.
  1. It costs the consumer less, because fitting more bits on a single wafer brings the cost down for more storage.

Staying ahead of the competition

It’s no secret that the semiconductor industry is a competitive one.
But only about five or six companies create NAND technology, whereas all the other SSD manufacturers simply purchase that technology from those companies.
To stay ahead of the curve is difficult, and Micron wasn’t always leading. But they came to a fork in the road where they decided to stop following and start leading.
So they invested more in R&D, skipped a node and started truly innovating.
Getting out in front of the competition proved to be great not only for Micron, but also for the consumer, because it forced all the other companies to start innovating. And a competitive market is what’s best for the consumer.
Email teammicron@ingrammicro.com or visit Micron for more information.
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