Samsung surprised attendees at the Flash Memory Summit in California by announcing what could be the world's largest 2.5in hard drive, and one built from Nand flash memory chips to boot.
The Samsung PM1633a is described as a next-generation SAS (serial attached SCSI) enterprise SSD, and is said to have a capacity of 15.36TB, easily beating the largest rotating disks currently on the market which max out at 8TB or 10TB.
Samsung earlier this week announced mass production of 256Gbit flash chips, based on the third generation of its 3D Vertical Nand technology, and it appears that these chips will be used to deliver the PM1633a SSD.
However, few other details of the high-capacity SSD have been made available. It is not listed on Samsung's website, and the firm did not disclose a release date or any indication of what kind of price tag such a huge flash drive would carry.
At the same time, Samsung unveiled three other high-performance SSDs geared towards enterprise and data centre customers, which just happens to include a model identified as the PM1633 (pictured).
The PM1633 is likewise a 2.5in SAS drive based on Samsung's 3D V-Nand flash chips, but presumably based on an older version of the technology. It will be available in 480GB, 960GB, 1.92TB and 3.84TB versions, all with a 12Gbps SAS host interface, and is capable of random read and write speeds of up to 160,000 and 18,000 input/output operations per second respectively, and sequential read and write speeds of up to 1,100MBps and 1,000MBps.
Flash storage is increasingly popular in the data centre because of its high performance and the fact that SSDs can consume less energy than a rack full of rotating hard drives.
Dell recently overhauled its SC4020 all-flash array with Samsung's current generation of SSDs, offering up to 90TB of capacity in a single 2U enclosure. If the PM1633a were used instead, this could theoretically be quadrupled to 360TB.
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