Samsung Launches Massive 16TB SSD Drive

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

Video editors rejoice! Samsung has come out with the largest solid state hard drive in the world, topping out at a massive 16 terabytes of storage. Yikes! That’s huge. Unveiling it at the annual Flash Memory Summit in Germany, the new 2.5″ PM1633a SSD dive can not only brag about being the largest SSD, but also claim the mantle of the world’s largest hard drive, period.

Samsung showed off the PM1633a in impressive fashion as well, according to ArsTechnica. They created a RAID array containing 48 of the 16TB PM1633a’s, giving the server a total of 768 terabytes and a combined performances of a whopping TWO MILLION Input/Output operations per second.

How fast is that, other than the obvious? The current rated consumer grade SSD can only run between 10,000-90,000 IOPS. So it’s like walking along the side of the road and a jet car comes screaming by at 900 mph.

Samsung is using their new 256 GB NAND Flash Chips to drive the PM1633 … and if you do the math, you see that there are 500 of them housed in that tiny 2.5-inch housing. Yikes. That translates to 48 layers of flash chips in a solid an array of 3 bits per cell as part of a 3D V-NAND single die.

The PM1633 also represents the next step in this flash design, as Samsung has gone from 24 layers in 2013, 36 layers last year, and now 48 layers. So it’s right on track along Samsung’s development path for their SSD drives. This also translates to a drive that, while 2.5″ side, is twice as thick as a standard SSD drive.

V-NAND stands for “vertical” and refers to the bits lined up on their sides, so as to cram more of them in the array, and then, thanks to the thin layers, stacking them in it’s 3D configuratiom. As such, the array is able to handle massive amounts of data through that configuration. But it also means a very complex design. And complexity usually increases the likelihood of error, which means error correction software working overtime.

That’s also why users can’t expect to get exactly 16TB, you know better than that. When you factor all all that firmware necessary to run the drive with error correction and trimming, users can expect to get a paltry 15.36TB of storage space.They can call it 16TB, thanks to some fancy math that hard drive manufacturers always use to hide the real amount of space available. But even then, that’s a huge amount of space.

No word on how much Samsung expects to fetch for the PM1633a, but analysts expect it to run well into the thousands, especially considering that current professional SSDs in the 2TB range cost around $800.

Hat Tip – SlashGear

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