Smarter controllers are also needed to maintain capacity efficiency and data integrity, said David Flynn, CEO of PrimaryData. Flynn was previously CEO of Fusion-io, which pioneered SSD storage in enterprises.
"Whatever Flash's successor is, it won't be as fast as RAM," Flynn said. "It takes longer to change persistent states than volatile states."
But Flynn is already looking beyond SSD into future memory types.
"The faster it gets the better," Flynn said. "I'm excited about new, higher memories."
But SSDs will ultimately match hard drives on price, and the newer memory and storage forms will have to wait, said Huffman, who is also the chairperson for the NVM-Express organization, which is the protocol for current and future non-volatile memory plugging into the PCI-Express slot.
"Hard drives will become the next tape," Huffman said.