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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  • Reflex - Sunday, March 19, 2017 - link

    So many Vietnamese friends of mine lament the loss of the south, looking at South Korea and Japan and seeing what could have been.
  • littlebitstrouds - Saturday, March 18, 2017 - link

    Stockholm syndrome for nerds is a real thing. Watching people be happy about "innovation" when the entire system is set up for the benefit of a few, and not the masses, shows us time and time again capitalism has you people confused.

    If you want to talk about market competition, let's do ourselves a favor and at least be honest... It's fun having technology trickled out to us as it profits the correct people, instead of saying what it should be: It's incredible what this world would provide if innovation was the core of our system, and no profitability.

    And btw I work in this industry... making decisions that affect you all, in rooms of people you all idolize. You have no idea idea how much real engineering is stifled.
  • eddman - Saturday, March 18, 2017 - link

    That's how capitalism works. It won't change unless a new system replaces it, and we haven't found one yet. Even china adopted it for business.

    I'm not saying it's good and am not happy that technologies take many years to reach all people, but it's what we have and there is no reason to not be happy about a new piece of tech (being overly enthusiastic and worshiping the companies that came up with the tech is extremely unhealthy though).
  • littlebitstrouds - Saturday, March 18, 2017 - link

    "We haven't found one yet"

    aka I don't know what I'm talking about because capitalism replaced numerous systems that worked but if I keep self perpetuating that it's the only thing that works, and erase all of history before it, I can pigeon hole all of existence to how it ended up, and not how it affects the world.

    Capitalism erases systems that work, stop believing we haven't "found" other ways. You just haven't found them... I assure you, they exist, and have existed for longer than you even know.
  • eddman - Saturday, March 18, 2017 - link

    Personal insults are not welcome.

    Instead of attacking me bring some examples so that I know it too.
  • littlebitstrouds - Saturday, March 18, 2017 - link

    You can get free labor elsewhere. You just provided a viewpoint with 0 evidence to back it up, by erasing a plethora of evidence to the contrary. It's not my job to backup your claim that capitalism is the only method found, to this date, that works. You made the claim, I didn't. Don't insult me by calling my retort an insult, simply because you have no ability to take criticism.
  • eddman - Saturday, March 18, 2017 - link

    Huh?! Are you ok? /rh
  • MamiyaOtaru - Saturday, March 18, 2017 - link

    if they got replaced how good were they exactly
  • littlebitstrouds - Saturday, March 18, 2017 - link

    In current destruction, or in extinction due to the expansiveness of imperialist capitalism?... Just because you don't leave your country (culturally) doesn't mean we don't exist. You even have your own personal genocide within your heartland that you ignore. The people most Native to your land face systemic oppression largely because your agricultural system is unsustainable without it. But don't worry, automation will come soon and offer yet another version of this nonsense.
  • eddman - Saturday, March 18, 2017 - link

    You need help.

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