Samsung’s latest SSD holds a ridiculous 15TB of data

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Samsung is now shipping its PM1633a solid-state disk, which despite its name, is incredibly exciting: it has a mind-blowing 15.36 TERABYTES of capacity. In an SSD.

Before you drop everything to go and order yourself one, we should point out that these SSDs are aimed directly at the enterprise market. How do we know this? Well the drive uses a 12Gb/s Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) interface, which is more common in enterprise systems than it is in your PC tower or notebook.

Aside from that little detail (it’s actually a big deal because you can’t just plug in a SAS to SATA converter, the entire communication protocol is different), the PM1633a is a swathe of massive numbers.

According to Ars Technica, Samsung claims the drive will be capable of reaching sequential read/write speeds of 1 200Mbps with a random read performance of 200 000 IOPS and random write speed of 32 000 IOPS.

Of course, Samsung has used its 3D V-NAND technology to cram as much storage as they can into the drive. By stacking 16 dies with a capacity of 256 Gigabits each (which amounts to 32 gigabytes of capacity) on top of one another, a stack that can hold 512GB of data is created. Samsung can put as many as 32 stacks on a drive to make its 15.36TB monster, which by the way, also has 16GB of its very own RAM installed. That’s more than my desktop gaming system has.

The Korean manufacturer has also said that at a later date it will release 7.68TB, 3.84TB, 1.92TB, 960GB and 480GB capacity iterations of the drive as well.

So, how much? Well, because this is aimed at big enterprises, you can expect it to cost a lot; just how much though is not yet clear because Samsung hasn’t revealed the pricing yet. The folks at Ars Technica suspect it won’t cost more than $8 000 (R124 848,78).

We’ve done some maths and with a Samsung 850 Evo 1TB currently retailing for R6 129 buying 15 of them will set you back R91 935.

Yes, we know that is cheaper than the PM1633a but, we don’t think many people just have 15 available SATA ports on their motherboard. When you think about it then, what Samsung could potentially ask for the drive isn’t all that unreasonable, especially considering this is a tiny 2.5inch drive. Yes, 15TB of capacity in an enclosure only slightly thicker than a regular 2.5inch hard drive. It’s mind-boggling!

The fact that Samsung has managed to cram that much storage into an SSD is what impresses us, and gives us hope that in ten years’ time we’ll be complaining about how 1TB internal storage in our smartphones just isn’t enough.

Ah, progress.

[Via – Ars Technica] [Image – Samsung]


Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.