As Samsung prepares to begin working on its mass production of their new 4TB solid state drives (SSDs) we are seeing pricing drop lower and closer into the Hard Drive (HDD) territory. This off course is great for consumers as and we are looking forward to a new era of faster and cheaper storage devices. This news comes just weeks after Western Digital announced its plans to close one of their HDD plants and actually increase production on SSD’s. Hard drives have remained at the top for enterprise solutions mainly because of their capacity. SSD’s are now approaching higher capacities at cheaper prices with the added bonus of being at least five times faster than a traditional hard drive.
Samsung will achieve these larger capacities by using QLC NAND instead of TLC NAND. QLC is Quad-Level Cell (4 bits per cell) flash memory which is 33% more dense than its predecessor TLC or Triple-Level Cell (3 bits per cell). Information is stored in these flash memory cells and the denser it is, the higher the capacity. This also allows SSD’s and other flash memory drives to become smaller. It is rare to see a 2.5” 4TB drive mainly because HDD’s have physical platters and information is stored on a physical space on the platter. As a result, Laptops will be able to become thinner, faster, and more responsive than they would be with a traditional hard drive.
As these drives become smaller, data centers will receive the benefit of extra space since the cost to operate SSDs would be less and would allow for more drives per server. Most storage servers can contain from 10 up to 60 HDD’s and each drive could weigh as much as 2lbs. Although this might not sound like a lot – but looking at the bigger picture if there are data centers with hundreds of server racks and several storage servers per rack it can add up. SSD’s are a fraction of the weight and don’t vary much in weight from different capacities compared to adding multiple platters on HDD’s.
Technology will always improve but it will always take companies like Samsung to move the industry forward in any direction. Moving to reduce the cost on SSD’s allows consumers to enjoy faster and cheaper PC’s and allows enterprise companies to continue providing efficient solutions to their customers. Way to go Samsung!