Computers

Samsung sounds death knell for hard drives with 4 TB QLC SSD

Samsung sounds death knell for...
"Samsung’s new 4-bit SATA SSD will herald a massive move to terabyte-SSDs for consumers," said Samsung's Jaesoo Han
"Samsung’s new 4-bit SATA SSD will herald a massive move to terabyte-SSDs for consumers," said Samsung's Jaesoo Han
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"Samsung’s new 4-bit SATA SSD will herald a massive move to terabyte-SSDs for consumers," said Samsung's Jaesoo Han
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"Samsung’s new 4-bit SATA SSD will herald a massive move to terabyte-SSDs for consumers," said Samsung's Jaesoo Han

Just over a decade ago, Samsung announced the imminent arrival of the first laptops to come with 32 GB NAND flash storage. Now the company is set to shake up the storage tree again as it goes into mass production of the first consumer-level 4-bit, 4 TB SATA solid state drive, signaling a possible turning point for high capacity home storage.

Quad-level cell (QLC) flash storage technology steps up the bit-per-cell capacity from the current three bits to four, and Samsung expects the development to shake up the storage industry.

"Samsung's new 4-bit SATA SSD will herald a massive move to terabyte-SSDs for consumers," said Samsung's Jaesoo Han. "As we expand our lineup across consumer segments and to the enterprise, 4-bit terabyte-SSD products will rapidly spread throughout the entire market."

The company says that when data stored within a memory cell is bumped up from three bits to four, maintaining optimum performance and speed becomes "considerably more difficult." But Samsung reckons that by using a 3-bit SSD controller, TurboWrite technology and making use of 32 fourth gen 64-layer V-NAND chips, the new 4 TB QLC SATA SSD doesn't suffer such a performance drop.

As a result, sequential read speed is given as 540 MB/s and sequential write as 520 MB/s, though random read/write figures have yet to be revealed.

Will this development signal the rapid demise of large capacity HDDs? Probably not, yet. Price could be the spark that sets off the storage revolution, but at the moment Samsung isn't giving that vital piece of info away.

The new 4 TB drive is expected to be joined by 4-bit 1 TB, 2 TB and 4 TB 2.5-inch variants later in the year, with enterprise M.2 NVMe variants also in the pipe. And Samsung predicts that its new 1-terabit 4-bit V-NAND chip will enable the company to produce large capacity memory for smartphones, too.

Source: Samsung

14 comments
VincentWolf
It won't be long before Hard drives will be measured in Petabytes not Terabytes.
paul314
Without a price tag attached, this is definitely for the earliest adopters. For consumers, you're probably talking about $100/TB as a decent point. Ironically the wide availability of cheap big SSDs could put a dent in sales for new laptops and desktops, since one of these could give old CPU and RAM a new lease on life.
ArthurGD3
@VincentWolf, my first computer's HDD was 1.275GB, one of the first 1GB HDD's available in a consumer PC. I believe now the largest single drive available on the consumer market may be 8 or 10TB, it will be a while before we get PB drives.
Bob Bolhuis
@ArthurGD3 - You must be really young... My first computer's HDD was 120MB... Yes, MB! And that was just a few years ago. Errrr..... CRUD! More than just a few years ago. sigh... I splurged on that computer and ordered it with 8MB of RAM. heheheh
Rusty Harris
My first computer had 2 720kb floppy drives. My first REAL computer that I built myself, had a 1.44 meg, 1.2 meg floppy and a WHOPPING 40megabyte HDD. I remember when the size got into the hundreds of megabytes, I thought what would you need THAT kind of storage for.
see3d
All you youngsters and your giant MB drives. My first computer had an SSD made by intel. It was 256 bytes large, with sequential read/write access only. The processor was 8 bits (before intel started making micro-processors). Those were the days my friends! Well maybe I am stretching the definition of an SSD slightly. If it lost power, it forgot everything. But hey, I had port-a-punch cards to reload the programs.
TomWatson
How Much? C'mon you know everybody paged-down to look for the price ... Nope .... stick the article, not interested without a price and no stalling to keep readers, show it at the start!!!
Robert Walther
Bought an iMac in mid 1984 - the 'Big Brother' ad hooked me. My 128k Ram - 400k Mac with an external 400K floppy and a dot matrix cost me $3300. To top this I bought four(4) One(1) MEG ram chips for my first MacII in 1989. $999 per MEG!!!
Daishi
Pricing hasn't been released yet but for context Samsung's 1 TB SSD's are between $220 an $400. Their 2 TB SSD's are between $510 and $840. They could likely be over $1,000 at first. The other capacities might see a price cut too. Personally I'm bummed that NVMe M.2 SSD's are still a premium over standard (slower) SATA connected ones.
James Brett
It's £800 inc VAT, have you all forgotten how to Google?