Samsung Electronics will reportedly release a 16 TB solid state drive (SSD), the world's highest-capacity SSD, next year. With the storage of SSDs surpassing that of hard disk drives (HDDs), SSDs are expected replace HDDs entirely soon.
According to industry sources on Aug. 16, Samsung is likely to introduce a 15.36 TB corporation-oriented SSD named the PM1633a to the market early next year, which was previously showcased in the U.S. in the second week of this month.
"Considering Samsung's technical capability, I think that it will be possible to commercialize the PM1633a by early next year," noted Michael Yang, director of the memory and storage research teams at IHS iSuppli. He added, "Since only one 16 TB-level SSD is required to store the data from as much as four of the latest SSDs combined, the cost needed to build a high-capacity server can be drastically reduced."
The largest current HDD can store 10 TB of data. But thanks to an advance in NAND flash-making technology, the storage capacity of SSDs has increased rapidly. Once this 16 TB SSD is commercialized, the capacity of SSDs will surpass that of HDDs for the first time.
Industry analysts estimate the initial price of the 16 TB SSD to be US$5,000 to US$7,000.
Samsung's success in developing an SSD with the largest storage capacity is attributable to the recently-started mass production of the 3rd-gen 3D V-NAND. With the mass production, the Korean tech giant was able to double the storage capacity of NAND flash used in SSDs from 128 Gb to 256 Gb. The PM1725, which launch was announced when the PM1633a was unveiled, features 2nd-gen 3D V-NAND capable of storing up to 6.4 TB of data.
Samsung, the only company capable of mass-producing 3D V-NAND, is expanding its influence in the next-gen storage device market by leading the dominance of SSDs. However, the company is followed closely by Toshiba and SK Hynix. Previously, the Japanese firm said that it also successfully developed a technology for 3D V-NAND in early Aug. that can make the 16 TB SSD, and the Korean chip maker is said to have a plan to make a sample of 3rd-gen 3D V-NAND, like Samsung.