Well, that didn't take long. Just one week after announcing the mass production of its first 3D V-NAND memory, Samsung has revealed an SSD based on the chips. The simply named V-NAND SSD combines up to 64 dies in a 2.5", 7-mm form factor. The top model offers 960GB of storage capacity, and there's a 480GB version, as well. You wouldn't know this thing was special by looking at the outside, though.
Samsung is aiming the V-NAND SSD at "enterprise servers and data centers," and it's easy to see why. The V-NAND chips are rated for 35,000 write/erase cycles—ten times the endurance of consumer-grade MLC NAND. Unfortunately, the press release doesn't mention any performance specifications. It does, however, offer a couple of vague comparative figures. E.S. Jung, Executive VP of Samsung's semiconductor R&D center, is quoted as saying the drive delivers a 20% performance boost and 40% lower power. The other side of that comparison isn't named, but it's presumably a server-grade SSD built with planar MLC NAND.
Interestingly, the 960GB V-NAND is faster than its 480GB sibling. The 960GB drive uses 64 V-NAND chips, but we're used to SSDs delivering peak performance with 32-chip configs. Since the 32-chip, 480GB model isn't as fast as its big brother, the drive controller could have more internal parallelism than usual. Too bad the 6Gbps Serial ATA interface imposes a hard limit on peak throughput.
Samsung doesn't say how much the V-NAND SSDs will cost or when they'll be available stateside. Production began "earlier this month," though. We've asked Samsung for additional details and will update this post as we get them.
For PC enthusiasts, the most interesting part of the press release is buried at the very end. Samsung promises to roll out V-NAND products for "PC applications that place a high priority on cost-effectiveness and high density." No timeline is given, but it looks like traditional NAND won't be the only option for consumer-grade SSDs for long.
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