Samsung Testing Multi-Level-Cell SSDs for Primary Enterprise Storage

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2010-12-21 Print this article Print

Virtually all primary storage in enterprise systems currently is contained in DRAM cache or hard disk drives, so this marks a milestone of sorts for the SSD and NAND flash industries.

Samsung, the world's largest seller of NAND flash-based storage, said Dec. 21 that it has been sampling 100GB, 200GB and 400GB multi-level-cell (MLC) solid-state drives for use as primary storage in enterprise storage systems.

Virtually all primary storage in enterprise systems currently is contained in DRAM cache or hard disk drives, so this marks a milestone of sorts for the SSD and NAND flash industries.

Samsung claims that the new drives can process random read commands at about 43,000 input/outputs per second (IOPS) and provide random writes at 11,000 IOPS.

These speeds, as expected in most SSDs, blow conventional hard drives out of the water. Standard 15K-rpm HDDs provide a rate of about 350 IOPS; thus the new SSDs-at least in benchmark research-offer a 120 times gain in random IOPS read performance and a 30 times gain in random IOPS write performance.

Samsung's new drives use 30-nanometer-class MLC NAND flash chips with a Toggle DDR interface and a controller that uses a 3G-bps SATA interface. The performance numbers approach-or exceed-some of the single-level-cell (SLC) NAND-based SSDs now in the marketplace, Samsung said.

The announcement is further evidence that solid-state drives are moving deeper into the data center and other IT system territory historically dominated by spinning-disk drives.

The South Korea-based IT giant also said it is planning to start mass-manufacturing and shipping the high-density SSDs in January.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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