FMS 2017: Samsung Announces QLC V-NAND, 16TB NGSFF SSD, Z-SSD V2, Key Value

Subject: Storage, Shows and Expos | August 8, 2017 - 05:37 PM |
Tagged: z-ssd, vnand, V-NAND, Samsung, QLC, FMS 2017, 64-Layer, 3d, 32TB, 1Tbit

As is typically the case for Flash Memory Summit, the Samsung keynote was chock full of goodies:

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Samsung kicked off by stating there are a good 5 years of revisions left in store for their V-NAND line, each with a corresponding increase in speed and capacity.

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While V-NAND V4 was 64-layer TLC, V5 is a move to QLC, bringing per die capacity to 1Tbit (128 GB per die).

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If you were to stack 32 of these new V5 dies per package, and do so in a large enough 2.5" housing, that brings the maximum capacity of such a device to a whopping 128TB!

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Samsung also discussed a V2 of their Z-NAND, moving from SLC to MLC while only adding 2-3 us of latency per request. Z-NAND is basically a quicker version of NAND flash designed to compete with 3D XPoint.

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M.2 SSDs started life with the working title of NGFF. Fed up with the limitations of this client-intended form factor for the enterprise, Samsung is pushing a slightly larger NGSFF form factor that supports higher capacities per device. Samsung claimed a PM983 NGSFF SSD will hold 16TB, a 1U chassis full of the same 576TB, and a 2U chassis pushing that figure to 1.15PB.

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Last up is 'Key Value'. This approach allows the flash to be accessed more directly by the application layer, enabling more efficient use of the flash and therefore higher overall performance.

There were more points brought up that we will be covering later on, but for now here is the full press release that went out during the keynote: (after the break)

Samsung Introduces Far-reaching V-NAND Memory Solutions
to Tackle Data Processing and Storage Challenges
Groundbreaking offerings include 1Tb V-NAND, 16TB NGSFF SSD, Z-SSD and Key Value SSD
SAN JOSE/SANTA CLARA, CA, U.S. – August 8, 2017 – Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world leader in advanced memory technology, has announced new V-NAND (Vertical NAND) memory solutions and technology that will address the pressing requirements of next-generation data processing and storage systems. With the rapid increase of data-intensive applications across many industries using artificial intelligence and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, the role of flash memory has become extremely critical in accelerating the speed at which information can be extracted for real-time analysis.
At the inaugural Samsung Tech Day* and this year’s Flash Memory Summit**, Samsung is showcasing solutions to address next-generation data processing challenges centered around the company’s latest V-NAND technology and an array of solid state drives (SSDs). These solutions will be at the forefront of enabling today’s most data-intensive tasks such as high-performance computing, machine learning, real-time analytics and parallel computing.
“Our new, highly advanced V-NAND technologies will offer smarter solutions for greater value by providing high data processing speeds, increased system scalability and ultra-low latency for today’s most demanding cloud-based applications,” said Gyoyoung Jin, executive vice president and head of Memory Business at Samsung Electronics. “We will continue to pioneer flash innovation by leveraging our expertise in advanced 3D-NAND memory technology to significantly enhance the way in which information-rich data is processed.
Samsung heralds era of 1-terabit (Tb) V-NAND chip
Samsung announced a 1Tb V-NAND chip that it expects to be available next year. Initially mentioned in 2013, during unveiling of the industry’s first 3D NAND, Samsung has been working to enable its core memory technologies to realize one terabit of capacity on a single chip using a V-NAND structure.
The arrival of a 1Tb V-NAND chip next year will enable 2TB of memory in a single V-NAND package by stacking 16 1Tb dies and will represent one of the most important memory advances of the past decade.
NGSFF (Next Generation Small Form Factor) SSD to improve server storage capacity and IOPS
Samsung is sampling the industry’s first 16-terabyte (TB) NGSFF SSD, which will dramatically improve the memory storage capacity and IOPS (input/output operations per second) of today’s 1U rack servers. Measuring 30.5mm x 110mm x 4.38mm, the Samsung NGSFF SSD provides hyper-scale data center servers with substantially improved space utilization and scaling options.
Utilizing the new NGSFF drive instead of M.2 drives in a 1U server can increase the storage capacity of the system by four times. To highlight the advantages, Samsung demonstrated a reference server system that delivers 576TB in a 1U rack, using 36 16TB NGSFF SSDs. The 1U reference system can process about 10 million random read IOPS, which triples the IOPS performance of a 1U server equipped with 2.5-inch SSDs. A petabyte capacity can be achieved using only two of the 576TB systems.
Samsung plans to begin mass producing its first NGSFF SSDs in the fourth quarter of this year, while working to standardize the form factor with industry partners.
Z-SSD: optimized for systems requiring fast memory responsiveness
Following last year’s introduction of its Z-SSD technology, Samsung introduced its first Z-SSD product, the SZ985. Featuring ultra-low latency and high performance, the Z-SSD will be used in data centers and enterprise systems dealing with extremely large, data-intensive tasks such as real-time “big data” analytics and high-performance server caching. Samsung is collaborating with several of its customers on integrating the Z-SSD in upcoming applications.
The Samsung SZ985 requires only 15 microseconds of read latency time which is approximately a seventh of the read latency of an NVMe*** SSD. At the application level, the use of Samsung’s Z-SSDs can reduce system response time by up to 12 times, compared to using NVMe SSDs.
With its fast response time, the new Z-SSD will play a pivotal role in eliminating storage bottlenecks in the enterprise and in improving the total cost of ownership (TCO).
New approach to storage with proprietary Key Value SSD technology
Samsung also introduced a completely new technology called Key Value SSD. The name refers to a highly innovative method of processing complex data sets. With the sharply increasing use of social media services and IoT applications, which contribute to the creation of object data such as text, image, audio and video files, the complexity in processing this data increases substantially.
Today, SSDs convert object data of widely ranging sizes into data fragments of a specific size called "blocks.” The use of these blocks requires implementation processes consisting of LBA (logical block addressing) and PBA (physical block addressing) steps. However, Samsung’s new Key Value SSD technology allows SSDs to process data without converting it into blocks. Samsung’s Key Value instead assigns a ‘key’ or specific location to each ”value,” or piece of object data – regardless of its size. The key enables direct addressing of a data location, which in turn enables the storage to be scaled. Samsung’s Key Value technology enables SSDs to scale-up (vertically) and scale-out (horizontally) in performance and capacity. As a result, when data is read or written, a Key Value SSD can reduce redundant steps, which leads to faster data inputs and outputs, as well as increasing TCO and significantly extending the life of an SSD.
About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. inspires the world and shapes the future with transformative ideas and technologies. The company is redefining the worlds of TVs, smartphones, wearable devices, tablets, cameras, digital appliances, printers, medical equipment, network systems, and semiconductor and LED solutions. For the latest news, please visit the Samsung Newsroom at

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August 8, 2017 | 06:15 PM - Posted by BinkyTO (not verified)

It seems kinda arrogant of Samsung to promote a form factor (NGSFF) out of the blue... (I just checked the PCI-SIG site and found no mention)

It seems designed to justify a needless price premium for compatible hardware -- even the edge connector looks incompatible with existing M.2 devices

August 9, 2017 | 12:49 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

It's not as out of the blue as you might think. It's a variant being worked on by several vendors (in a similar style at least). More to follow at around noon PST today.

August 8, 2017 | 07:27 PM - Posted by Mobile_Dom

Interesting that Samsung is going all in on QLC for the Gen 5 VNAND, they're obviously confident that they can do so without much of a penalty, and that the detractors are worth the trade off, will be interesting to see a 970 Evo with QLC VNAND or something.

August 8, 2017 | 11:02 PM - Posted by Anonymouse (not verified)

Hitting the Tag "FMS 2017" shows two Articles, this one is the latest.

You missed some flash, the hottest park of the show - what happened at the Innodisk Booth ?

August 9, 2017 | 12:48 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

Yes, there was a booth fire. It's not relevant to the topic at hand (click bait), but it is responsible for the lack of pictures / posts so far since the exhibition hall was closed yesterday, and may be today.

August 9, 2017 | 02:59 AM - Posted by Power (not verified)

Is QLC flash as reliable as magnetic tape or it is writing on the sand equivalent?

August 9, 2017 | 04:12 AM - Posted by James

NGSFF form factor = next generation small form factor form factor.

August 9, 2017 | 05:20 PM - Posted by msabercr

There are a few vendors pushing for hotswapable PetaByte(PB) per 1U form factors. It makes sense that multiple vendors are collaborating on this new market. Furthermore PCI-SIG really only starts defining spec once the tech is fairly cemented and patented.

August 12, 2017 | 10:39 AM - Posted by razor512

*Customer service: how can I help you?*

Customer: Hi, my QLC SSD stopped working aster installing windows on it.

*Customer service: well that is your problem, a windows install will put well over 10GB of writes onto the SSD, this is QLC, not MLC.*

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