At the Flash Memory Summit, where memory manufacturers showcase new innovations in flash memory, Samsung unveiled the World’s largest (SSD) Solid State Drive. Samsung is currently the world leader in the SSD market and with the new 16TB SSD, the company has further distanced the gap. However, the SSD is only meant for enterprises and not for consumers. Samsung has not revealed any pricing, but going by the current trends, we can expect the 16TB SSD to be priced over $5000 (approx. Rs. 3,26,000).
Samsung’s Enterprise grade SSD, named PM1633a, is currently the world’s largest SSD and will compete with more conventional 8TB and 10TB, platter based HDD drives. The key to this is the mammoth space on the SSD is the new 256Gb, 3-D V-NAND flash memory, which was also announced recently. This new flash memory is based on 48 layers of 3-bit multi-level-cell also known as MLC arrays to be use in SSDs. The 256Gb die capacity is twice what the industry commercially uses, i.e. 128Gb.
We are used to see planar NAND Flash where the cell strings are placed in a 2D plane and the packaging is left with space to spare. In the the 3-D NAND Flash, memory planes are standing vertically instead of laid down horizontally. This makes the packaging much more complex but the extra potential it achieves is worth it. The image below will help you understand the structure better.
The 16 Terabyte drive actually has 15.36TB, but still filling that much space with 256Gbit dies is a far more complex task then said. According to Golem.de, Samsung showed off 48 of these SSDs stacked in a server with the total storage capacity coming out to be 768TB. The performance was rated at 20,00,000 IOPS (input/output operations per second). To give you an idea of how big that number is, the consumer grade SSDs that we use is capable of 10,000-90,000 IOPS.
We can all agree that in years to come, large storage options like this will become more affordablem and trickle down to the consumers as well. Currently, this is a big step in enterprise storage, even though it is a costly one at that. However, if you want an insane amount of storage space for your business, Samsung has you covered.