Samsung designs minuscule single-package NVMe SSD


— 11:40 AM on May 31, 2016

Samsung has some big news for tiny mobile devices today. The company is releasing an up-to-512GB NVMe SSD—on a single one-gram ball-grid array (BGA) package. Despite its single-package format, the memorably-named PM971-NVMe retains most of the characteristics we expect to see in a high-performance SSD.

The package includes 48 layers of Samsung's 3rd generation V-NAND, 4Gb (512MB) of LPDDR4 DRAM acting as a buffer, and an unnamed "high-performance" storage controller. Protection from power-related data loss will be left up to capacitors or batteries external to the BGA package, so we could see some variance among implementations on that front.

Despite the PM971-NVMe's tiny stature, Samsung says the drive's no slouch in terms of performance. The company claims the one-package wonder can hit 1,500MB/s on sequential reads and 900MB/s on sequential writes. Those numbers expect Samsung's "TurboWrite" to be enabled, which provisions some of the SSD's storage as an additional write buffer to improve write performance. For random I/O, Samsung expects the drive to be able to hit 190K read IOPs and 150K write IOPs.

Don't go looking for the disk on Newegg anytime soon, though. Since it is a BGA device, it'll only be sold to device manufacturers, and Samsung hasn't given us any info on how much the package is going to cost. Even though the PM971-NVMe seems to be targeted at mobile gear, it's unclear which market segments Samsung is looking at. Since it's an NVMe SSD, however, chances are that it's meant for higher-end devices.

   
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