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

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2010-12-21

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.

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