Samsung's first NF1 SSD puts 8 TB on a wide gumstick


Samsung just announced an apparently-unnamed 8-TB NF1 SSD. In case you're confused, NF1 isn't the name of the SSD, but instead the name of the form factor. NF1 is a derivative of M.2 designed for enterprise environments and to better suit the shape of Samsung's NAND packages. The idea is that the wider drives can fit flash chips in two-wide rows.

The drive itself is built using sixteen 512-GB NAND packages connected to an all-new controller that supports NVMe 1.3 and PCIe 4.0. Despite the freshness of the hardware, Samsung's quoted sequential performance numbers—3100 MB/s for reads and 2000 MB/s for writes—aren't exactly eyebrow-raising. The rated 500K IOPS on 4K random read operations is more inspiring, although the company says that these drives are only good for 50K IOPS on random writes.

If you feel like you've seen NF1 drives before, that's possible. The M.2-derived form factor was called Next-Generation Small Form Factor, or NGSFF. That's a call-back to the original name of M.2, NGFF. Ironically, NGSFF or NF1 drives are actually larger than M.2 drives. NF1 drives make use of a couple of the "no contact" pins in the M.2 spec to enable hot-swapping. That's a critical feature in enterprise environments, as is maximized storage density. Samsung says that by using 72 of the new 8-TB SSDs, you can stuff 576 TB of solid-state storage into a 2U rackmount chassis.

According to Samsung, these new SSDs are already available now, although you won't find them on the virtual shelves at Newegg. If 12 petabytes of solid-state storage in a 42U rack doesn't do it for you, don't fret. Samsung says a new version of this SSD based on 1-TB NAND packages should be available in the second half of this year.

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