It may go by an unassuming model number, but Samsung's latest solid-state drive (SSD) marks a major new milestone in enterprise flash storage.
Nearly seven months after its unveiling at the Flash Memory Summit last August, Samsung this week announced it had begun shipments of the PM1633a, a 2.5-inch, Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) SSD with an industry-leading storage capacity of 15.36 terabytes (TB). Once again, the South Korean electronics giant credits its stacked memory cell technology – this time in its third generation with 256-gigabit, 48-layer memory chips – for helping the company pack increasing amounts of flash storage capacity into small packages.
"We will continue to lead the industry with next-generation SSDs, using our advanced 3D V-NAND [vertical NAND] memory technology, in order to accelerate the growth of the premium memory market while delivering greater performance and efficiency to our customers," said Samsung's Jung-bae Lee, senior vice president of Memory Product Planning and Application Engineering Team, in a March 3 announcement.
The PM1633a features a 12 gigabit per second SAS interface, 16 GB of DRAM and specialized firmware the company claims can make the most of the drive's expansive storage by accessing "large amounts of high-density NAND flash concurrently." Random read and write performance is rated at 200,000 and 32,000 input/output operations per second (IOPS), respectively. The SSD can also attain sequential read and write speeds reaching 1,200 megabytes per second (MB/s).
The new drive ships with safeguards that provide metadata protection capabilities along with data protection and restoration software to prevent data loss in case of an outage. The PM1633a also supports one full drive write per day (DWPD).
With its new PM1633a line of SSDs, Samsung is starting big at the top and working its way down. The 15.36 TB is shipping to storage system makers now. Later in the year, the company plans to ship additional models in capacities of 7.68TB, 3.84TB, 1.92TB, 960 gigabytes (GB) and 480GB, the company said.
Samsung's quest to become flash chip maker to beat also extends into the realm of mobile devices. Late last month, the company announced that it had begun manufacturing the first embeddable 256-gigabyte (GB) chips based on its 3D V-NAND, heralding an era of smartphones and tablets that rival some PCs in terms of flash storage.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InfoStor. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.
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