During its SSD Global Summit last month, Samsung indicated that it has been working on 3D V-NAND with three bits per cell. The firm said an announcement about this next generation of TLC flash would be coming soon, but it didn't provide any additional details.
As it turns out, Samsung was saving the big reveal for this week's Flash Memory Summit. In a presentation yesterday, the company revealed a TLC version of its latest 3D V-NAND. The flash has the same 32-layer structure as the MLC V-NAND in the 850 Pro, just with an extra bit crammed into each cell.
PC Perspective captured a few slides from the presentation, but it doesn't look like Samsung revealed any specifics on density, performance, or endurance. V-NAND's inherently higher write performance and endurance counteract some of the traditional weaknesses of three-bit flash, so I'm curious to see how the new chips stack up. Even if they're not as fast or as durable as what's in the high-end 850 Pro, they should be sufficient for more mid-range drives. Speaking of which, PC Perspective says the TLC V-NAND will appear in a "soon-to-be-released 850 EVO" SSD. The 840 EVO has been out for more than a year now, so it's due for a replacement.
Interestingly, Samsung also spoke about the lack of coordination between SSDs and host systems. The company is reportedly experimenting with giving software more awareness of how data is laid out on the SSD and more control over how it's distributed. This so-called "storage intelligence" seems to be early in development, but it's already said to deliver a substantial improvement in write latency under heavy loads.