Hard drives and SSDs come in pretty standard shapes at this point: there are 3.5-inch drives for desktops, 2.5-inch ones for laptops, and the newer M.2 standard that basically looks like a giant stick of RAM. Intel’s new enterprise SSDs are changing that with the company’s new “Ruler” design, which is designed to optimize storage density while also reducing the amount of power and cooling, via Techgage.
The new drives, with their slimmed-down shapes, are designed for server racks, where Intel says they’ll be able to massively increase the amount of storage on hand. While the company isn’t offering much in the way of information on specifications or how big the Ruler drives will be, Intel claims that companies will be able to reach 1 petabyte (1,000 terabytes) of storage in a single 1U server rack (the smallest size rack available). In comparison, using traditional 10TB 3.5-inch hard drives would require a dramatically larger 4U rack, with similarly increased power supply and cooling costs.
It’s unlikely that we’ll see a super long, skinny desktop computer on our desks anytime soon that’ll accommodate the new drives. Making server units more efficient and smaller can only be a good thing, however, even if the new Ruler drives never make their way to your own computer.