August 9th, 2017 by Adam Armstrong
Samsung Introduces Several New V-NAND Solutions At FMS
At the Flash Memory Summit (FMS) 2017, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. announced several new V-NAND (Vertical NAND) memory solutions and technologies. These new technologies include the first 1Tb V-NAND chip, a 16TB Next Generation Small Form Factor (NGSFF) SSD, a Z-SSD with lower latency than NVMe, and Key value SSD technology. These new technologies aim to address issues such as the need for higher density in a smaller footprint, the increase of data-intensive applications due to artificial intelligence and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, and the need for lower and lower latencies.
Every year at FMS, Samsung holds a Tech Day that allows it to showcase its latest developments in technology and lay down how it will address next-generation data processing challenges. This year the company is showcasing a wide variety of new V-NAND technology that stretches the gamut of various issues mainly confronting the enterprise.
An interesting development in density is the introduction of a 1Tb (terabit) V-NAND chip. Though the company initial mentioned this when they first unveiled 3D V-NAND, the technological breakthrough has just now been realized. Samsung is able to stack 16 1Tb chips on a single die resulting in 2TB in a single V-NAND package. This will greatly increase density of SSDs without moving to a larger form factor. For industries looking for more density in the same footprint, Samsung may have an answer for them.
Speaking of density bumps, Samsung also introduced a new NGSFF SSD of up to 16TB and only measuring in at 30.5mm x 110mm x 4.38mm. This new drive is specifically designed for 1U server that need more capacity and higher IOPS. Samsung states that a single 1U server can be scaled up to 576TB (using 36 of the new NGSFF SSDs) or having over 1PB in a 2U space by adding another server. The company also claims that the combined drives can hit 10 million IOPS random read.
Last year Samsung introduced Z-SSD technology with no real details. This year the company has a Z-SSD product, the SZ985, but still lacks explaining what it actually is or how it works. The new drive is said to have 15 microseconds of read latency which is better than NVMe SSDs. This would be hugely beneficial for real-time analytics or some really fast server cache. What the technology or Z-NAND actually may be, is anyone’s guess as the company is playing it close to their chest, perhaps a bit too close as there is an actual product in the pipeline at this point.
Finally, Samsung introduced Key value SSD technology, which results in a more efficient way of processing complex data sets, making the existing NAND technology perform faster. Instead of converting data into blocks to be processed, the technology assigns a ‘key’ or specific location to each ”value,” or piece of object data – regardless of its size. The key enables direct addressing of a data location, which in turn enables the storage to be scaled. This new technology would primarily benefit social media services and IoT applications.
The 1Tb per chip V-NAND technology is expected to be available next year. Samsung intends to mass produce the new NGSFF SSDs in the fourth quarter of this year.