Tuesday, August 7th 2018

Samsung starts Mass Production of QLC Consumer SSDs, 1 TB, 2 TB, 4 TB with over 520 MB/s Read/Write

Samsung Electronics, the world leader in advanced memory technology, today announced that it has begun mass producing the industry's first 4-bit (QLC, quad-level cell) 4-terabyte (TB) SATA solid-state drive (SSD) for consumers.

Based on 1-terabit (Tb) V-NAND with outstanding performance equivalent to the company's 3-bit design, Samsung's QLC SSD is expected to bring a new level of efficiency to consumer SSDs.
"Samsung's new 4-bit SATA SSD will herald a massive move to terabyte-SSDs for consumers," said Jaesoo Han, executive vice president of memory sales & marketing at Samsung Electronics. "As we expand our lineup across consumer segments and to the enterprise, 4-bit terabyte-SSD products will rapidly spread throughout the entire market."

With its new 1Tb 4-bit V-NAND chip, Samsung will be able to efficiently produce a 128GB memory card for smartphones that will lead the charge toward higher capacities for high-performance memory storage.

Typically, as data stored within a memory cell increases from three bits to four, the chip capacity per unit area would rise and the electrical charge (used to determine information from a sensor) would decrease by as much as 50 percent, making it considerably more difficult to maintain a device's desired performance and speed.

However, Samsung's 4-bit 4TB QLC SATA SSD maintains its performance levels at the same level as a 3-bit SSD, by using a 3-bit SSD controller and TurboWrite technology, while increasing drive capacity through the use of 32 chips, all based on 64-layer fourth-generation 1Tb V-NAND.*

The 4-bit QLC SSD enables a sequential read speed of 540 MB/s and a sequential write speed of 520 MB/s, and comes with a three-year warranty.

Samsung plans to introduce several 4-bit consumer SSDs later this year with 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB capacities in the widely used 2.5-inch form factor.

Since introducing the 32-gigabyte (GB) 1-bit SSD in 2006, which ushered in the PC SSD era, to today's 4TB 4-bit SSD, Samsung continues to drive new thresholds for each multi-bit generation.

In addition, the company expects to provide M.2 NVMe SSDs for the enterprise this year and begin mass production of 4-bit fifth-generation V-NAND. This will considerably expand its SSD lineup to meet the growing demand for faster, more reliable performance across a wide span of applications, such as next generation data centers, enterprise servers, and enterprise storage.
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25 Comments on Samsung starts Mass Production of QLC Consumer SSDs, 1 TB, 2 TB, 4 TB with over 520 MB/s Read/Write

#1
Prima.Vera
That's nice. But what is going to be the price/GB again?? If it's 10 cents, It would be awesome, otherwise it's just very expensive capacity....
Posted on Reply
#2
RejZoR
People really need to be going SSD only route. Not long ago I've seen the Sandisk Ultra 2TB for 300 bucks. While more expensive than any 2TB HDD, it has so many benefits and doesn't get outdated like graphic cards, 300 bucks seems like a great investment. I paid 800€ for 2TB 850 Pro and I still consider it as one of the best investments I've done to date. Speed, silence and capacity is just something no HDD can ever match.
Posted on Reply
#3
kastriot
Ideal pricing would be:

1TB=100$
2TB =150$
4TB=200$
Posted on Reply
#4
W1zzard
"Prima.Vera said:
That's nice. But what is going to be the price/GB again?? If it's 10 cents, It would be awesome, otherwise it's just very expensive capacity....
I think 10 cents per GB isn't unrealistic with QLC, but at first they'll price it closer to today's TLC to rake in the $$
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#5
CheapMeat
Heck yeah! Really excited about this. I definitely think $100 for 1TB (SATA) is possible when you compare what the cheapest TLC SATA SSD is right now.
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#6
Caring1
So the only benefit of these is size?
No use to me if 512Gb is enough for my needs.
Posted on Reply
#7
Jonathan Marcus
"RejZoR said:
People really need to be going SSD only route. Not long ago I've seen the Sandisk Ultra 2TB for 300 bucks. While more expensive than any 2TB HDD, it has so many benefits and doesn't get outdated like graphic cards, 300 bucks seems like a great investment. I paid 800€ for 2TB 850 Pro and I still consider it as one of the best investments I've done to date. Speed, silence and capacity is just something no HDD can ever match.
You are completely right. "SSD only route".
New generation computers (both laptops and PCs) have double drive systems SSD+HDD.
People are using SSDs as operating system drives and HDDs for storage.
But according to me when you use double drive systems, nothing changes.
I have a laptop with an SSD and HDD. SSD for the operating system and HDD for the storage.
But whenever I turn on the laptop, first of all HDD starts to run! The first noise I hear is the HDD's spinning noise. And I hate! from this.
A few days ago I detached the HDD.
Now there is only SSD in the laptop and I noticed that "system is completely silent, cooler and faster". And battery lasts longer.
If you have a double drive system SSD+HDD, you will not benefit from your SSD 100%. HDD will try to start firs!
SSD only systems are unique.
A lot of people are asking for the P/E cycles?
Do not worry about the P/E cycles.
Even the QLC SSDs have enough cycles for consumers.
This process will follow to mature. And SSD drives will replace the HDD drives in the future.
Prices will fall. Capacities and speeds will increase.
Even the worst SSD is much better than the best HDD.
Please look at that.
https://img.global.news.samsung.com/global/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/8TB-NVMe-NF1-SSD-4_main.jpg
8TB SSD drive with (11cm x 3.05 cm) size. And app. 10 gram.
NVMe 1.3 protocol and PCIe 4.0 interface, delivering sequential read speeds of 3,100 megabytes per second (MB/s) and write speeds of 2,000MB/s.
https://news.samsung.com/global/samsung-introduces-8tb-ssd-for-data-centers-in-next-generation-nf1-form-factor
And now look at that.
8TB HDD drive with (26 x 10 x 15 cm) size. And 605 gram. Only 190MB read speed.
https://www.seagate.com/www-content/datasheets/pdfs/exos-5e8DS1954-2-1712US-en_US.pdf
Which of these would you prefer?
1 - 10 gram / 11cm x 3.05 cm / 3100 MB read - 2000 MB write / zero noise
2 - 605 grm / 26 x 10 x 15 cm / 190 MB read.
?
Posted on Reply
#8
bug
Samsung's 4-bit 4TB QLC SATA SSD maintains its performance levels at the same level as a 3-bit SSD, by using a 3-bit SSD controller and TurboWrite technology
That does not compute. How does a controller mitigate physical limitations of NAND dies?
Posted on Reply
#9
silentbogo
"Prima.Vera said:
That's nice. But what is going to be the price/GB again?? If it's 10 cents, It would be awesome, otherwise it's just very expensive capacity....
I think it's realistic for QLC. Even 3D TLC prices are slowly crawling to sub-15c/GB... Maybe by Q2 2019?...

"Caring1 said:
So the only benefit of these is size?
Size and price.
Posted on Reply
#10
RejZoR
It treats writes as single cell event temporarely to keep up the write speed. That's TurboWrite basically.
Posted on Reply
#11
Valantar
"bug said:
That does not compute. How does a controller mitigate physical limitations of NAND dies?
That caught my eye as well. Pure marketing BS. "Our new 3-story 500-seat long-distance jetliner performs and handles like a fighter jet, 'cause we use the same engine tech as fighter jets do." Yeah, that's not how things work.

"Jonathan Marcus said:
You are completely right. "SSD only route".
...
While you're not wrong, we have a long, long way to go to where SSDs can compete with high-capacity HDDs for high-capacity use cases. SSDs are limited in price by the cost of silicon wafers (which is increasing) and density. We've seen massive density gains in recent years with 3D NAND, but this pace won't last for long - and SSDs are still multiple times more expensive per GB than HDDs. HDDs have the intrinsic base cost of the housing, actuator and motor, which makes <~$40 HDDs infeasible, but on the other hand those costs don't really scale - you only need to add more platters or make platters denser for more capacity. Neither of these are easy, of course, but they're not that expensive.

Still, HDDs have no place in laptops (or really consumer desktops either, outside of those who have particular storage needs). Outside of my HTPC, I haven't used a PC with a HDD in it for quite a few years.

On the other hand, consumer NAS adoption pretty much needs to accelerate, given the vast amounts of data the average user produces these days. And for mass storage of cold or semi-cold data, HDDs are excellent. If we move our mass storage (and thus HDDs) into a separate device, we get to keep the best of both worlds - compactness, silence and power efficiency all the time, capacity when we need it.
Posted on Reply
#12
EsaT
"Jonathan Marcus said:
Do not worry about the P/E cycles.
Even the QLC SSDs have enough cycles for consumers.
P/E cycles mean nothing if there's no proper data retention.
In likely case you don't know how Flash memory works QLC needs to distinguish 16 charge levels to avoid error/data corruption.
That's starting to be basically semi analog recording, leaving very little room for charge to degrade/leak etc.

While biggest advantage of digital is its reliability in allowing considerable signal degradation without any effect to actual data...
Posted on Reply
#13
Fx
"Valantar said:
That caught my eye as well. Pure marketing BS. "Our new 3-story 500-seat long-distance jetliner performs and handles like a fighter jet, 'cause we use the same engine tech as fighter jets do." Yeah, that's not how things work.


While you're not wrong, we have a long, long way to go to where SSDs can compete with high-capacity HDDs for high-capacity use cases. SSDs are limited in price by the cost of silicon wafers (which is increasing) and density. We've seen massive density gains in recent years with 3D NAND, but this pace won't last for long - and SSDs are still multiple times more expensive per GB than HDDs. HDDs have the intrinsic base cost of the housing, actuator and motor, which makes <~$40 HDDs infeasible, but on the other hand those costs don't really scale - you only need to add more platters or make platters denser for more capacity. Neither of these are easy, of course, but they're not that expensive.

Still, HDDs have no place in laptops (or really consumer desktops either, outside of those who have particular storage needs). Outside of my HTPC, I haven't used a PC with a HDD in it for quite a few years.

On the other hand, consumer NAS adoption pretty much needs to accelerate, given the vast amounts of data the average user produces these days. And for mass storage of cold or semi-cold data, HDDs are excellent. If we move our mass storage (and thus HDDs) into a separate device, we get to keep the best of both worlds - compactness, silence and power efficiency all the time, capacity when we need it.
Aye. Hard drives aren't going anywhere any time soon. They provide way too much value in many different use cases.
Posted on Reply
#14
svan71
"Caring1 said:
So the only benefit of these is size?
No use to me if 512Gb is enough for my needs.
I'll forward this to Samsung and tell them to halt production cause some guy on tech powerup has no use for cheaper higher storage ssd's.
Posted on Reply
#15
bug
"EsaT said:
P/E cycles mean nothing if there's no proper data retention.
In likely case you don't know how Flash memory works QLC needs to distinguish 16 charge levels to avoid error/data corruption.
That's starting to be basically semi analog recording, leaving very little room for charge to degrade/leak etc.

While biggest advantage of digital is its reliability in allowing considerable signal degradation without any effect to actual data...
And if you manage to retain your data, accessing it is still slower.

"Fx said:
Aye. Hard drives aren't going anywhere any time soon. They provide way too much value in many different use cases.
As I have always said: we've had commercial HDDs since the 80s and tape still hasn't completely disappeared. Maybe HDDs will be replaced faster, but it would be foolish to expect them to go extinct less than a decade after SSD have been with us.
Posted on Reply
#16
Prima.Vera
Either way, the HDD are 100% doomed. It's just a matter of time regardless if it's 10, 20 or 50 years. Why do you think WD, Seagate or Hitachi are masively investing now on SSD tech even if they lost the express train already?
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#17
Caring1
"svan71 said:
I'll forward this to Samsung and tell them to halt production cause some guy on tech powerup has no use for cheaper higher storage ssd's.
They will realise like I do, that I am not the target market, and the sender is a moron!
Be off with you fool.
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#18
BluesFanUK
... and yours for the price of a second hand car. FO Samsung.
Posted on Reply
#19
Patriot
If the cache is big enough, you will never feel how slow the main storage is.
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#21
CheapMeat
Anyone looking for a main performance drive is not buying QLC; it's for bulk storage on desktops and/or good enough storage for mobile devices/laptops. Seems like the haters are focusing on that. If you want performance buy Optane and Samsung's MLC Pro NVMe drives.
Posted on Reply
#22
bug
"CheapMeat said:
Anyone looking for a main performance drive is not buying QLC; it's for bulk storage on desktops and/or good enough storage for mobile devices/laptops. Seems like the haters are focusing on that. If you want performance buy Optane and Samsung's MLC Pro NVMe drives.
Not really. Bulk storage is exactly where you want data retention to not suck.
Posted on Reply
#23
svan71
"Caring1 said:
They will realise like I do, that I am not the target market, and the sender is a moron!
Be off with you fool.
Please give us more insite on what does not interest YOU we care so much.
Posted on Reply
#24
R0H1T
"bug said:
Not really. Bulk storage is exactly where you want data retention to not suck.
So have you seen any endurance, data retention tests for Optane, QLC et al?
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#25
bug
"R0H1T said:
So have you seen any endurance, data retention tests for Optane, QLC et al?
No, but I know how flash works.
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