Samsung Now Mass-Producing 32TB Solid-State Disks

The previous SSD record for data capacity was held by Samsung’s 15.36TB lineup introduced in March 2016. This new 32TB SSD will find a lot of use cases waiting for it.

Samsung32TBSSD

As the U.S. stock market has been breaking records in the past couple of years, so has the storage media industry—at least in terms of capacity.

Samsung  said Feb. 20 that it has begun mass-producing its new 32-terabyte (rounded off from 30.72TB) Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) solid-state storage drive, the world’s largest capacity to this point.

The previous SSD record for data capacity was held by Samsung’s 15.36TB lineup introduced in March 2016. The new drive utilizes 64-layer, 3-bit 512-gigabit (Gb) processors.

The 30.72TB SSD, dubbed the PM1643, will use Samsung's latest V-NAND technology, the company said. V-NAND is a type of non-volatile flash memory that retains data even in the absence of an electrical current.

These large new drives will be used to satisfy the growing storage needs for a long list of market segments, including the government, financial services, health care, education, oil and gas exploration, pharmaceuticals, social media, business services, retail and communications sectors.

This breakthrough was made possible by combining 32 of the new 1TB NAND flash packages, each comprised of 16 stacked layers of 512Gb V-NAND chips. These super-dense 1TB packages can store about 5,700 5GB full high-definition movies within a mere 2.5-inch storage device, Samsung said.

In addition to the doubled capacity, Samsung claimed that data-speed performance levels have risen and are nearly twice that of its previous generation high-capacity SSD. Based on a 12Gb/s SAS interface, the new PM1643 drive features random read-and-write speeds of up to 400,000 IOPS and 50,000 IOPS. Sequential read and write speeds are up to 2,100MB/s and 1,700 MB/s, respectively, the company said.

These are about four times the random-read performance and three times the sequential-read performance of a typical 2.5-inch SATA SSD, Samsung said.

Samsung said it reached the new capacity and performance enhancements through several technology progressions in the design of its controller, DRAM packaging and associated software. Included in these advancements is a highly efficient controller architecture that integrates nine controllers from the previous high-capacity SSD lineup into a single package, enabling a greater amount of space within the SSD to be used for storage.

The PM1643 drive also applies Through Silicon Via (TSV) technology to interconnect 8Gb DDR4 chips, creating 10 4GB TSV DRAM packages, totaling 40GB of DRAM. This marks the first time that TSV-applied DRAM has been used in an SSD, Samsung said.

Samsung started manufacturing initial quantities of the 30.72TB SSDs in January and plans to expand the lineup later this year--with 15.36TB, 7.68TB, 3.84TB, 1.92TB, 960GB and 800GB versions--to further drive the growth of all-flash-arrays and accelerate the transition from hard disk drives (HDDs) to SSDs in the enterprise market.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in large part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he...