As the sort of person that can get addicted to deep technology discussions about the latest thing, without due care and attention I could easily fall into the pit of storage related technologies. From the storage bits through to software defined cache hierarchy, there is so much to learn and to talk about. Over the last two years, unless you were living under a rock, it would have been hard to miss the level of attention that Intel's 3D XPoint technology (a co-venture with Micron) has been getting. Billed as a significant disruption to the storage market, and claiming an intersection between DRAM and SSDs as a form of non-volatile storage, many column inches have been devoted to the potential uses of 3D XPoint. Despite all this talk, and promises that Intel's Super 7 partners are well under way with qualifying the hardware in their datacenters, we are yet to actually see it come to market - or even be actively demonstrated in any sizeable volume at a trade show. We're expecting more information this year, but while everyone is waiting, Samsung has snuck up behind everyone with their new Z-SSD product line.

The Z-SSD line was announced back at Flash Memory Summit, although details were scant. This was a PCIe NVMe storage technology using Samsung's new 'Z-NAND', which was aimed at the intersection between DRAM and SSDs (sounds like 3D XPoint?). Z-NAND is ultimately still baked in as NAND, although designed differently to provide better NAND characteristics. We still don't know the exact way this happens - some analysts have pointed to this being 3D NAND/V-NAND running in SLC mode, given some of the performance metrics, but this is still unknown.

At Cloud Expo Europe, Samsung had a Z-SSD on display and started talking numbers, if not the technology itself. The first drive for select customers to qualify will be 800GB in a half-height PCIe 3.0 x4 card. Sequential R/W will be up to 3.2 GBps, with Random R/W up to 750K/160K IOPS. Latency (presumably read latency) will be 70% lower than current NVMe drives, partially due to the new NAND but also a new controller, which we might hear about during Samsung's next tech day later this year. We are under the impression that the Z-NAND will also have high endurance, especially if it comes down to fewer bits per cell than current NAND offerings, but at this point it is hard to tell.

Initial reports indicated that Samsung was preparing 1TB, 2TB and 4TB drives under the Z-SSD banner. At present only the 800GB is on the table, which if we take into account overprovisioning might just be the 1TB drive anyway. Nothing was said about other capacities or features, except that the customers Samsung is currently dealing with are very interested in getting their hands on the first drives.

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  • GT69 - Saturday, March 18, 2017 - link

    ddriver - I'll grant that you may have several valid points in your lengthy post and as a retired EE who at age 69 had 40+ years in the industry, I certainly would not wish to enter a discussion about the validity of your comments. But, now help me here, isn't this supposed to be a technical/development discussion about products and not about our conception of history and/or world affairs? Just wondering...
  • ddriver - Sunday, March 19, 2017 - link

    "But, now help me here, isn't this supposed to be a technical/development discussion about products and not about our conception of history and/or world affairs"

    Sure thing old timer.

    It is not about either. It is about "wow, new tec, so cool, me want (even if me doesn't need or can't afford or even make use of). It is not really about the technology, it is about technology related, often blind, irrational and technologically ignorant consumerism and believing that showing interest makes you look smart. It is quite often that you see either implied or even direct statements boiling down to a rather paradoxical "AT readers are smart, because they are AT readers, and they are AT readers, because they are smart".

    And it wasn't me who picked it up really, with the "South Korean success story". All I did was point out that samsung is currently being put in its place after stepping on the toes of some "important" US corporations. But once faced with the blatant ignorance of that fellow human, how could I possibly leave that unaddressed? Granted, I am well aware that in all probability it will not really help him out, but I can assure you, I do carefully analyze, profile and take notes on the response patterns, and incorporate that knowledge into helping others who suffer from a less severe from of the same issue. It is a form of social study, and I don't do it because I want to or like to, but because it needs to be done. It is not the only place I probe either, I do general population and niche specific studies in order to draw out the difference and extrapolate meaningful results.

    Is it OK to do so? Definitely not, at least from the perspective of someone who suffers the discord this brings to his mundane mediocrity. But then again, mundane mediocrity is not something good that needs to be cherished and protected, so I'd say that in this case, the end justifies the means.

    I can assure you, I would never do something like that in a place that actually discussed technology and product development in a productive, educated and educational manner, because unlike doing it here, there it would be disruptive. But this place is not it, it is a joke, a remnant from a site that was cool a long time ago, mostly due to the lack of competition, which now lives on its corporate connections and a halo of self-awarded trustworthiness (seriously, how trustworthy one claiming to be the most trusted could be?), which sold out to a shameless advertiser and has become a beacon of consumerism, a tool of pimping the big US corporate boys like apple, nvidia, m$ and intel, a source for occasional paid accolades for certain barely incremental yet shamelessly overpriced product, and gathering place of clueless wannabes who cheer at every article, even on technology that is there purely to exploit them or is likely to render them unemployed.
  • sedra - Monday, March 20, 2017 - link

    i know u know what u know but dont expect them to know what you kbow and what they dont know. i think they could know if they wanted to know.
    this way of telling truth doesn't work. u r brave, man but these reactions decreases ur energy. God bless u
  • Yongsta - Tuesday, March 21, 2017 - link

    First off, South Korea is prosperous. High quality of life, highest life expectancies, highest IQ. As for cosmetic surgeries, on a per capita basis South Korea is #1 but if you look at the state of California for example, it's rate of plastic surgery on a per capita basis would be higher than South Korea. You have states like New Mexico, Montana, Wyoming, the Dakota's that drag the number down.
  • VeryLogical - Sunday, March 19, 2017 - link

    This is easily the most insane comment I have read in a long time.

    "But NK owes its misery entirely to the US, without which today it would likely be just as prosperous as SK"

    This is simply not true. North Korea's misery is entirely SELF-IMPOSED due to its insane degree of isolation from the outside world. North Korea is the one responsible for keeping tensions high with the US. There is no reason North Korea couldn't be as prosperous as the South. North Korea's poverty is caused solely by its intense degree of self-imposed isolation and economic mismanagement. How do you explain the fact that North Koreans can't even leave the country without permission? That North Koreans who do flee to China and are returned are punished?
  • ddriver - Sunday, March 19, 2017 - link

    It was the US that divided Korea initially, and kept it divided when Koreans found their "natural balance" by intervening in a war that was pretty much over, prolonging it further and severely increasing the death and destruction it inflicted, it was the US that isolated NK from the western world, and it was the US that persuaded the Soviet Union and China to cut their support, which was enough for NK to do as well or even better than SK. It was the US that put NK under a perpetual existential threat, forcing it to allocate a HUGE amount of its already limited resources for defense, which resulted in poverty, famine and an escalation of the draconian measures which the NK regime had to implement to suppress insurgencies. It is also why NK is building nuclear weapons, with their military machine being rather small and severely outdated, their only insurance policy is highly destructive nuclear weapons, which are perfectly doable without the kind of cutting edge technology modern military machines employ. So no, it is absolutely not self-imposed.

    It sucks in NK, that's for sure, and the Kims have certainly played their part in that, but it wasn't them who wrote the script, it wasn't them who pushed things to come to this. The US is well aware that further sanctions will not deter the NK regime from its agenda, and will only lead to more suffering for the NK people, yet still keep on imposing them. The Kims do what they need to do and the only thing they can do, unlike the US, which doesn't really need to do it, yet chose to.

    Instead of the biannual NK invasion simulation, fear mongering and military buildup, the US could leave NK be, lift sanctions for things that regular people need, help out with food and agricultural equipment. Kim doesn't want his people to suffer, that is a direct product of the position the US has put NK into and giving it no other choice than to surrender, which it will not. I assure you, the moment Kim feels safe, he will drop the belligerent rhetoric and divert resources from defense to standard of living. Alas, the US can only solve problems by bombing them to the ground. And we've all see how well it works out, judging by success story Iraq...

    In short, NK neither wants its people to suffer, nor to be isolated from the world. They are simply being pushed into that position.
  • eddman - Sunday, March 19, 2017 - link

    Just remove yourself to infowars.
  • Reflex - Sunday, March 19, 2017 - link

  • close - Monday, March 20, 2017 - link

    ddriver is an expert in everything. You'll see. He's the best engineer (ok, he makes some seriously bad typos that make him look like he's a faker but lets look beyond that), historian, sociologist, political analyst, everything I tell you. He know more that he should.

    The only thing is that you just have to take his word for it. His only weakness is supporting what he says. o_O
  • Reflex - Monday, March 20, 2017 - link

    Honestly his technical explanations are no better than what you can figure out reading some Wikipedia.

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