NAND flash technology is advancing at a rapid clip, and that’s resulting in solid state drives (SSDs) that are faster, more capacious and cheaper (per GB). Look no further than Samsung’s announcement this week of its latest Vertical NAND (V-NAND) chips that allows for the ultra fast PM1725 NVMe SSD capable of delivering mind-blowing sequential read speeds of up to 5,500 megabytes per second.
But if you think those read speeds are impressive, Samsung just made our jaws drop with the announcement of an incredible advancement on the storage density front. The company’s new PM1633a SSD manages to pack 16TB (the actually formatted capacity is 15.36TB) into a 2.5-inch-ish form-factor. You read that right, SIXTEEN TERABYTES! The previously mentioned PM1725 tops out at 6.4TB, and here we have a drive that tops it by nearly 10TB.
These are indeed amazing times in tech, my friends. Samsung says that its new 16TB SSD is the largest storage device around — period. Not even helium-filled hard drives (which currently top out at around 10TB) can touch Samsung’s latest SSD.
This massive amount of storage is made possible by Samsung’s newly announced 48-layer, 256Gb MLC V-NAND. This latest advancement allows Samsung to pack 32GB of storage into a single die (this is double the capacity of the the company’s previous generation offerings). Each chip contains an incredible 85.3 billion cells, each storing 3 bits of data, which allows Samsung to arrive at 256 billion bits of data or 256Gb.
(Image Source: golem.de)
With each chip providing 32GB of storage, our rough math shows that Samsung would need at least 512 chips to arrive at the 16TB figure. That would explain the beefy drive in the picture above that looks a little larger than your standard 2.5-inch SSD offering. Given how many chips that Samsung is packing in to achieve this storage density, it’s a good thing that the 48-layer chips are 30 percent more power efficient than its 32-layer predecessors.
For now, this is about as good as you’re going to get when it comes to SSDs, although we don’t even want to know how much this drive is going to cost. But in the coming years, we can look forward to next generation storage technology, including 3D XPoint, which was was jointly developed by Intel and Micron. 3D XPoint promises to be 1000 times faster with 1000 times the endurance of NAND.