Samsung mass producing 4TB 4-bit QLC solid-state drives

Ceria Alfonso
Agosto 8, 2018

'As we expand our line-up across consumer segments and to the enterprise, 4-bit terabyte-SSD products will rapidly spread throughout the entire market.

Samsung's QLC SSDs are based on the firm's 1Tb 64-layer V-NAND used in its TLC flash, which stores three bits per cell.

The new consumer QLC SSDs follow Samsung's launch of its 970 PRO and EVO M.2 form factor SSD sticks available in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB earlier in May. This makes it hard to maintain desired performance and speed.

A major impediment to making 4-bit NAND a reality has been the substantial performance hit due to lower charge levels.

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Created to increase the capacity available from each NAND chip, QLC is a form of multi-level cell technology which allows four individual bits per memory cell - vastly increasing capacity over the company's existing triple-level cell (TLC) equivalent.

Samsung has announced it has put production of its first consumer QLC SSD into overdrive.

But Sammy is touting read speeds of 540MB/s with sequential write speeds of 520MB/s, though more randomised data in-out speeds weren't mentioned. Longevity might still be a concern, however, as these 4TB SSDs only ship with a three-year warranty. They are also the first NVMe drives to use 4-bit QLC memory chips (Samsung will release 2.5-inch SATA drives that use QLC chips later this year).

"Samsung's new 4-bit SATA SSD will herald a massive move to terabyte-SSDs for consumers". Its new 1Tb (Terabit) 4-bit V-NAND chip will also enable Samsung to efficiently produced a 128GB memory card for smartphones that will lead the way for higher capacities for high-performance memory storage. The 2 and 4 TB drives will still be a bit spendy, but the 1TB tier should offer a solid price advantage over current 1TB solid-state drives.

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