At the Flash Memory Summit, we saw exhibits from Samsung, Toshiba and Western Digital, among others. Samsung was quick to announce its plans on testing Z-NAND memory with a latency of 15 microseconds, beating Intel’s 3DXP memory. But Micron’s launch of their new series of NVMe SSDs, the 9200 Enterprise, managed to raise a few eyebrows. These are purported to provide a higher industrial standard than the current competitors, with a focus on “business-critical workloads and surging data demands”.

The new enterprise SSDs are the successors to the previous generation, the 9100, and uses Micron’s 32-layer 3D TLC NAND flash and a new generation Microsemi SSD controllers. Apart from the two tiers of performance (MAX, for write intensive use and PRO, for both read-write use), it adds a third class called ECO, which promotes read intensive use.

The 9200 SSDs are available in the 2.5″ U.2 form factor or as a PCIe add-in card (HHHL), which now supports a PCIe x8 interface. This now allows for higher sequential access performance than the U.2 version (max read speeds – 5.5 Gbps).

The capacities have been increased from the previous generation, which maxed out at 3.2 TB for the 9100 PRO and 2.4 TB for the 9100 MAX. Now the 9200 MAX offers a maximum of 6.4 TB, the PRO up to 7.68 TB and the ECO to a whopping 11TB. The 11 TB variant is the first SSD to break the 10+TB barrier for NAND based storage, for industrial applications.

Micron’s enterprise SATA SSD lineup jumped to 3D TLC NAND this year with the coming of the 5100 series. Micron’s 7100 enterprise NVMe SSDs are still around and haven’t been replaced with a 3D NAND-based successor, but it seems Micron is phasing out the current generation. That is all we know about Micron’s latest enterprise SSDs at the moment. We’ll update the article as we know more.

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