The incredible march of data storage technology continues with the news that Samsung is now shipping a 16TB SSD that fits in a 2.5-inch package.
For those of you old enough to remember floppy disk drives, or even the first generation of iPod, it may seem amazing to think that so much data can now be packed into such a small device. By way of comparison a 3-inch floppy disk could hold 1.44 megabytes of data. Samsung first showed off the new SSD at the Flash Memory Summit in California in 2015, writes Mariella Moon for Engadget.
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Samsung announces 16TB SSD for enterprise customers
The new SSD in fact has a capacity of 15.36TB if you want to be precise, but it is still an impressive number. According to Samsung the new drive has the largest capacity of any SSD in the world.
There was no mention of any pricing details in the company press release, but it seems unlikely that any private user would need to store such a huge amount of data. With that in mind Samsung is marketing the product as an enterprise solution.
The press release mentions that companies will be able to fit more drives in their server rack by using the 2.5-inch drive over the usual 3.5-inch versions. Samsung boasts that it was able to fit so much storage inside a small package by stacking 512 pieces of 256Gb vertical NAND memory chips.
New SSD range for home users to ship later this year
These chips have twice the capacity of NAND chips manufactured by other companies. Samsung claims that you can write 15.36TB of data on the drive every day, and there is a backup tool that will save your data in case of a blackout.
Personal users would have to make a supreme effort to fill a drive of that size, so it is probably worth waiting to see the other planned products in the 2.5-inch PM1633a SSD range. Samsung plans to release 7.68TB, 3.84TB, 1.92TB, 960GB and 480GB models, which will definitely sell for less than the 16TB monster.
With an increasing number of people choosing to stream music and videos from the cloud, the market for huge SSDs is becoming smaller. However the technology is exciting, and the products are still relevant for people such as film makers who need tons of storage space.