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Samsung Producing World’s Smallest 512GB NVMe SSD – Its a Game Changer

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., world-leading producer of advanced memory devices, is announcing that it has begun mass production of the industry’s first NVMe PCIe solid-state drive (SSD) in a single ball grid array (BGA) package, to be used in next-generation PCs and ultra-slim notebook PCs.  The new BGA NVMe SSD is dubbed PM971-NVMe and features an extremely compact package that houses all of the essential components of an SSD, including the NAND flash memory, DRAM and the controller, while delivering excellent performance.

512GB-BGA-NVMe-SSD_05-w-handHow did Samsung create the PM971-NVMe SSD in a single BGA package? This was accomplished by combining 16 of Samsung’s 48-layer 256Gb V-NAND flash chips, one 20nm 4Gb LPDDR4 mobile DRAM chip and a high-performance Samsung NAND controller.  This new SSD measures a mere 20mm x 16mm x 1.5mm, and weighs only about 1 gram (for comparison a U.S. dime weighs 2.3 grams).  This size represents about 1/100th of the space requirements for a standard 2.5” SSD or HDD. The surface area is about 1/5th that of an M.2 SSD, allowing for much more design flexibility for manufacturers of computing devices.

512GB-BGA-NVMe-SSD_02According to Jung-bae Lee, senior vice president of Memory Product Planning & Application Engineering Team for Samsung Electronics, “Samsung’s new BGA NVMe SSD triples the performance of a typical SATA SSD, in the smallest form factor available, with storage capacity reaching up to 512GB.  The introduction of this small-scale SSD will help global PC companies to make timely launches of slimmer, more stylish computing devices, while offering consumers a more satisfactory computing environment.”

512GB-BGA-NVMe-SSD_02 closeupSamsung’s new PM971-NVMe SSD provides a level of performance that easily surpasses the speed limitations of the SATA 6Gb/s interface.  It features sequential read speeds of up to 1500MB/s, and sequential write speeds of up to 900MB/s (when TurboWrite technology is utilized).  This level of performance equates to transferring a 5GB-equivalent, Full-HD movie in about 3 seconds, or downloading it in about 6 seconds.  Random read speeds are stated as up to 190,000 IOPS, and random write speeds are stated as up to 150,000 IOPS, easily handling any high-speed operations.  To compare this to an HDD, which can only attain about 120 IOPS in random reads, the new Samsung PM971-NVMe SSD is more than 1500 times faster.

Samsung logo clear backgroundThe PM971-NVMe SSD series will be offered in capacities of 128GB, 256GB and 512GB.  Samsung will be providing the new SSDs to customers on a worldwide scope beginning this month.  You can view the Samsung press release announcing the new PM971-NVMe SSD in its entirety here.

  • dravo1

    It’ll be interesting to see how these get warrantied. Once it’s soldered to a motherboard you’re tied to its warranty. If the device fails the mobo basically needs replaced.

    • Yes but how long has this been coming where the SSD would be integrated into a mobo? Conversely with the size of this, the possibilities become so much greater….remembering that the largest benefit here is performance + storage in a size that could never have been achieved prior. Think of cell phones, gaming consoles, nucs might now even get smaller…. Think of graphics memory…

      I see Apple grabbing a hold of this before Samsung gets use out of it just as we saw with SATA, PCIe and NVMe SSDs.

      • HERETIC

        How long has it been since Intel tried to give us a boost with USB flash drives?
        Since then I’ve hoped we could get 100GB on board as a boot drive..
        In our dreams the evolution of this in ten years could be this added to SOC.

      • dravo1

        Remember, this little chip will still need wired into a 4-lane PCI-E circuit. I don’t see phones or gaming consoles offering that for quite some time. Definitely PCs, notebooks and tablets.

    • Donny Stanley

      This is not targeted toward the PCDIY community. This is for consumer electronics devices where warranty would already require a return of the entire product to the manufacturer. Also, a single chip failing on a devices’ main board does not mean the entire board needs to be replaced. With the proper know-how, a BGA chip can be de-soldered and replaced. Its done all the time with BGA CPU, and other surface mount electronics.

      Also, you have to imagine the possibilities with emerging technologies such as this. If you paired this with a future AMD APU which features Polaris graphics and HBM2 memory. You can have an entire system including the CPU, GPU, shared system and video memory, and fast, integrated storage in a package about half the size of most wireless routers.

      • AMD APUs are Great for STEAM

        Sounds like a great little design for a STEAM Box game system, barely larger than a DVD disc… AMD just has to double the graphics in it’s APU (A10) and half the power… in the age of cell phones needing liquid cooling for GPUs is just wasting electricity.

  • dzezik

    the performance is medicore, in general SSD performance is not increasing since 2010 but prices, density and efficiency is much better. you dont need PCIe x8 SLC 20W SSD. You can get almost half of its performance with 10 times less power and 10 times less money.

  • no contest

    great little package – Samsung should build the 512 GB into all their Galaxy phones!

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