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Samsung ships the world's highest capacity SSD, with 15TB of storage

Lucas Mearian | March 3, 2016
Samsung revealed it was working on the drive last August.

The 256Gb dies are stacked in 16 layers to form a single 512GB package, with a total of 32 NAND flash packages in the 15.36TB drive. Utilizing Samsung's third-generation, 256-gigabit (Gb) V-NAND technology, which stacks cell-arrays in 48 layers, the PM1633a line-up is expected to be faster and more reliable than its predecessor, the PM1633. That model used Samsung's second-generation, 32-layer, 128Gb V-NAND memory.

In 2014, Samsung became the first company to announce a 3D NAND flash chip with a 3-bit MLC architecture. In October 2014, the company announced it was mass producing a 32-layer V-NAND chip. Then, last August, it followed up by mass producing a 48-layer V-NAND chip.

While Samsung may be the first to do so, it's not alone in developing 48-layer 3D NAND chips. Last year, SanDisk and Toshiba announced that they were also preparing to manufacture 256Gbit, 3-bit-per-cell (X3) 48-layer 3D NAND flash chips that offer twice the capacity of their previously densest memory.

Intel and Micron have also announced 3D NAND products. The two companies  boasted that their technology would enable gum-stick-sized SSDs with more than 3.5 terabytes (TB) of storage and standard 2.5-in. SSDs with greater than 10TB.

Along with the 15.36TB model, Samsung will offer the PM1633a SSD in 7.68TB, 3.84TB, 1.92TB, 960GB and 480GB versions later this year. Because the SSDs are targeted at enterprise use, and will be sold to resellers who'll determine the retail prices, Samsung did not announce its own pricing for the drives.


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