In Pictures: Data storage -- then and now

As size of storage drives shrink, capacity increases - dramatically. Here is a look at how data storage it has changed over the last six decades.

NAND flash solid state storage Solid state drives (SSDs) were too expensive for most only a few years ago, but today they cost as little as .50 cents per GB. SSDs are the cheapest way to turboboost a computer. Some SSDs sport data transfer speeds more than five times that of hard drives.

SSD capacities increased as the size of NAND flash transistors decreased, and the number of bits of data stored per transistor grew from one to three. Today, NAND flash transistors are as small as 19 nanometers, or about the size of an atom.

As 128Gbit NAND dies, 3D NAND and Resistive Random Access Memory (RRAM) is more widely introduced, consumers can expect a quadrupling of SSD capacity. Some day soon, smartphones may come with hundreds of gigabytes of capacity.

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