Samsung Announces 4th Gen V-NAND, 32TB SSD & 1TB Single BGA SSD – Flash Memory Summit 2016 Update

Today at FMS 2016 in Santa Clara, California, Samsung led a Keynote that was sure to leave competitors wondering what the heck.  In fact, the most memorable quote we had heard in years at this event just has to be “When you come to see our 3D wafer, you don’t need 3D glasses”, taking a friendly swipe at the Micron Keynote we published just yesterday.

Samsung Keynote FMS 2016The highlight of this keynote, of course, was Samsung’s announcement of their newest 4th Gen vertical V-NAND which has been increased to 64 layers, stacking 30% more layers of cell arrays than prior.  This memory is triple level cell, 512Gb and capable of 800Mbps IO speed.  A bit amusing perhaps is that one of these new wafers were on display, however heavily guarded initially with guards standing in front of the display to ensure no pictures were take.


Next up, Samsung introduced the worlds highest capacity SSD, breaking the scales at 32TB.  This SAS SSD will come in the 2.5″ form factor, of course using Samsung newest 64 Layer V-NAND, will be available in 2017 and reduces a systems footprint by 40 times compared to that of a HDD rack system.

Samsung 32TB SAS SSD

Samsung’s display of this new SSD was rather clever as it levitated inside a sealed case, however, provided little opportunity for a close up of the drive itself.  A later opportunity enabled this shot:

Samsung 32TB SAS SSD

Next up was Samsung’s newest release of their 1TB NVME BGA SSD which is without a doubt the smallest and most powerful SSD you will find on this planet.  Imagine the power this can give to mobile devices:

Samsung 1TB BGA

Smaller than a penny, this is a fully functioning SSD with memory, cache and a controller, and will have performance specifications of 1.5GB/s read and 800MB/s write data transfer speeds.  It will be released in 2017 and will adopt a high density packaging that will become known as FO-PLP (Fan-out Panel Level Packaging).

Next up was a great demonstration using Samsung’s latest PM863 2TB M.2 SSD which is situated in the Facebook Lightning JBOF System.  60 PM863 M.2 SSDs can account for 115TB of storage:

Facebook Lightning Description

As we can see in the comparison chart, this 2Tb SSD PM863 is performing at over 400,000 IOPS with throughput of 2GB/s read and 1.2GB/s write.  The PM863 is also available in U.2 form factors where each 2.5″ SSD can then reach 7.68TB and is hot plug compatible.

Facebook Lightning Rack


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    Relatively Anonymous

    Fantastic. NOW, somebody sell me a 1 TB NVMe BGA SSD like this in the retail market, AND a postage-stamp-sized enclosure with a male USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 port (10 Gb/sec, that is both a good speed match and becoming ubiquitous on all sorts of desktops/laptops) and voilá, the ultimate external (boot) “thumb” drive! A 2.5″ SSD might fit in your shirt pocket, a “gumstick” M.2 2280 SSD enclosure is smaller still, but this is so small it would be easy to lose!

    I’ve been trying to do something similar with M.2 2280 drives and their similar-sized enclosures, but all such enclosures I can find max out at SATA 3 speeds (550 – 600 MB/sec), as they are B-keyed/for SATA-based M.2 SSDs. It seems nobody makes an M.2 enclosure for 2280 PCIe SSD (I’ll say it again, PCIe, not SATA) with an M-key interface for PCIe 2.0 or 3.0 4-lane media, AND a USB-C Gen 2 output port. Such media might be a bit faster (I’ve seen 2580 MB/sec read, 1540 MB/sec write on the wicked-fast PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 media, but that’s darn expensive) than the interface, but I want to saturate that USB 3.1 Gen 2 interface at >1GB/sec. I’m on the right track here, I know it, but nobody makes these enclosures. Somebody, PLEASE, build us such wonderful (tiny) USB 3.1-out NVMe-based M.2 SSD enclosures, the market is very hungry for them! Then, do it again for the tiny BGA SSDs and say goodbye to the slowish thumb drive media we have today. Just “jack in” your dime-sized and boot in five seconds: Woo hoo!

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    Relatively Anonymous

    I had to follow up yesterday’s wishful rant with a minor update. Sure, “gumstick” (M.2 2280) PCIe 3.0 (4.0?) x4 (4-lane) media is a decent match for USB 3.1 Gen 2 as an enclosure interface on an external SSD, but USB 3.1 Gen 2 maxes out the media speed around 1100-1200 MB/sec. True, this is better (than SATA 3 speeds), and remains acceptable for today.

    But for the “next generation” (I don’t mean NGFF/M.2) of “newest crop” BGA dime-sized SSD media, let’s equip an enclosure for THAT with Thunderbolt 3 and a USB-C port, giving us > 4 GB/sec throughput to a TB3-enabled host! Again, more and more laptops/desktops are equipped with Thunderbolt 3 (and will be in the present and near-future), so let’s develop newer solid-state storage to work externally (in enclosures) with today’s and tomorrow’s interfaces. Warp factor 9, Captain!

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