Samsung Builds World’s First 512GB NVMe SSD In A Single Chip

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When it comes to making advances in the solid state drive (SSD) space, you can always count on Samsung to spice things up a bit. While Samsung’s most recent SSDs have been hellbent on breaking data speed records, its latest product is more concerned with miniaturization.

The new PM971-NVMe is the world’s first NVMe SSD that fits into a single ball grid array (BGA) package, measuring just 20mm x 16mm x 1.5mm. Samsung says that the total volume of the PM971-NVMe is roughly one hundredth of a standard 2.5-inch SSD, while its surface area is just one fifth that of an M.2 SSD.

Amazingly, Samsung was able to fit 16 256-gigabit V-NAND flash chips, a single 4Gb LPDDR4 mobile DRAM chip and its SSD controller onto a single BGA package. Given the incredibly compact dimensions, the PM971-NVMe is adaptable to a wide variety usage scenarios and its performance definitely outpaces anything that’s available with SSDs restricted by the SATA 6Gb/s interface.

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Samsung says that the PM971-NVMe is capable of 1,500MB/s sequential reads and writes of 900MB/s. Random read and write IOPS are listed at 190K and 150K respectively, which is nothing to scoff at for something as diminutive as this SSD. While those figures don’t come close to matching the performance of Samsung’s crazy-fast PM1725, it would be perfectly acceptable in a thin and light ultrabook or a 2-in-1 convertible.

“Samsung’s new BGA NVMe SSD triples the performance of a typical SATA SSD, in the smallest form factor available, with storage capacity reaching up to 512GB,” said Jung-bae Lee, SVP for Samsung’s Memory Product Planning & Application Engineering Team, Samsung Electronics. “The introduction of this small-scale SSD will help global PC companies to make timely launches of slimmer, more stylish computing devices, while offering consumers a more satisfactory computing environment.”

The PM971-NVMe SSD is currently in mass production and will be shipping to customers this month in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB capacities.