Samsung's new hard drive is being touted as the world's largest, cramming nearly 16 terabytes (TB) into a 2.5-inch solid state drive, or SSD. Shown off at the Flash Memory Summit in California last week, the secret is said to be held in its special V-NAND flash chips, which hold around twice the capacity of what competitors put out last year. Actually, it even takes the cake for what hard disk storage (HDD) can hold. The largest known hard drive around, made by Seagate and Western Digital, can hold 8 to 10 terabytes, but this is by far this biggest we've seen.
We can expect Samsung to hit up the server market with such large drives, per usual, but once the technology becomes cheaper, this type of storage (not necessarily 16 whole terabytes) could possibly trickle down to home use. Speaking of technology, the most impressive part of this new mammoth capacity is that it's made into solid state drive, meaning something had to drastically be altered to get this to work. Until now, it's been a slow and steady development for flash storage SSD, but this new approach from Samsung, V-NAND, which involves the stacking of cells vertically instead of along a single layer, allows for much greater density.
Samsung's very own V-NAND solution has had continual success, stacking 24 layers on a single die in the first year, 36 layers last year, and now 48 this year (equaling a 16TB SSD). To put this type of capacity into perspective, according to Wired, this is the equivalent of 3,000 copies of Mad Max: Fury Road in HD on a MacBook Pro. No one would need that much space on laptop, but it could provide that extra space we are used to relying on the cloud for.
The coolest part of this, is whether or not you ever need 16TB of space in your home, in a few years you could have it if you wanted it, and it wouldn't cost nearly as much as it does right now (Samsung's 4TB 2.5-inch SSD runs for about $6,000). Practical uses for flash storage, like company databases and IoT home solutions, could be the future. This is especially true since Samsung isn't alone in this approach. Other companies have already hopped on the NAND train (Intel and Micron), but Samsung is first to show off something in 16TB. We've always known that competition tends to drive prices down. But did we ever expect HDDs to be kicked out of the picture so soon?
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