back to article Samsung drops 128TB SSD and kinetic-type flash drive bombshells

Samsung has fired out four flashy announcements with higher capcity chips, faster drives, new packaging format and a flash version of Seagate's Kinetic disk concept. First out of Sammy’s gate was a coming 1Tb flash chip using its V-NAND 3D NAND technology. To put that in context, Toshiba’s shipping 64-layer die is a 512Gbit …

  1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    128TB ?

    That should be an interesting price tag.

    The linked article seems to suggest that this is an actual intended product that might appear in the next 12 months, in which case either the price will be eye-watering or the price per GB will wipe spinning rust off the map overnight, or perhaps some combination of both.

    1. Lee D

      Re: 128TB ?


      All I want is a cheap 1Tb 2.5" SSD. Then I'll literally just buy them by the hundreds and upgrade every computer under my control and save the faffing about.

      Don't even need M.2 / NVMe, etc. Just the speed from "bog-standard hard drive" to "cheapest of SSDs" improves my client's response times ten-fold. If I have to replace them once every 5 years, who cares?

      But I have to buy tiny 128Gb ones which have almost nothing left by the time you install standard image (40Gb or so) and let a handful of users with cached profiles use it.

      As it is, I do a dozen or so every time I have some fresh budget, and it makes a world of difference. Get the 1Tb ones affordable and I'll never touch a hard drive again. 1Tb is enough to do everything you want, home or work. And I'd buy them in such bulk, it would make the 2, , 8, 16Tb versions drop in price too.

      (P.S. Bytes throughout... bits are for speeds, and even that's a pointless change of unit for marketing purposes as far as I'm concerned - nobody addresses by the bit any more).

      1. Stuart 22 Silver badge

        Re: 128TB ?

        Nothing to see here for many of us just dreaming of the return of £25 128GB drives. Transformed many an aged slow XP laptop into sharp new (Linux) machine. That's real value for money. 128GB was quite enough for OS & Apps and basic data. A USB stick for anything else.

        Size isn't everything. Speed & enough dosh left for the pub is.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: 128TB ?

          "many of us just dreaming of the return of £25 128GB drives."

          They haven't gone away, Sandisk are still selling them.

      2. Munchausen's proxy

        Re: 128TB ?

        "1Tb is enough to do everything you want, home or work."


        (I upvoted you anyway - I agree completely ----- for now.)

        1. AMBxx Silver badge

          Re: 128TB ?

          I remember a review in the Old PC Pro a few years ago. Along the lines that now SSD storage had dropped to £1 per GB, it was suitable for most PCs.

          Fortunately, it's dropped a bit more since!

          1. theN8

            Re: 128TB ?

            Bah ... I still remember when disk drives dropped to £1 per GB. Come to think of it - the first drive I ever bought was a whopping 800MB - at a cost of about £70!!

      3. fnj

        Re: 128TB ?

        @Lee D

        Hear, hear! That's what I want, too. 1 TB - 2 TB 2.5" SATA SSDs. As cheap as possible. Couldn't care less about the performance; ALL SSDs are blindingly fast compared to ANY HDD.

        No expensive NVMe crap here. I don't have the slots.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      My next visit to PCWorld...

      I'd like a laptop with 128TB of Storage please, what can you recommend?

  2. Sean o' bhaile na gleann

    The price might well be 'eye-wateringly high' ... at first. But it'll damn soon drop down once other manufacturers start knocking these things out.

    I well remember the first time I bought some add-on RAM, for my brand-spanking-new PC-World sourced 486 rig.

    £60 was the price, for a 4MB stick.

    I'd been researching the price and watching it fall over a period of some months... thought I saw the curve flattening out, thought 'Now!', and jumped in to buy some...

    ...And subsequently cried salt tears as I watched the price continue to drop, down through the floor and beyond (or it seemed like it)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Seems supply and demand...

      Is balanced a bit more now for RAM. I can get second hand sticks cheap enough, but DDR3 is still up there at the price range of "new", and DDR4 is eye watering.

      Older than that is fine, but it's harder to find and get sizes/performance that is even worth it (would you use DDR2?).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "£60 was the price, for a 4MB stick."

      Ha1 I remember buying 4x4MB 2nd hand RAM at £90/stick (via a usenet forsal group!) and thougt that was a bargain at the time ... though via a similar route managed to offload 8x1MB sticks at same time for ~£15/stick ... admittedly this was getting on for 25 years ago (and I needed all that RAM because I was running OS/2!)

      1. Lee D

        My brother once paid more for a 4MB RAM upgrade than the entire base computer had cost in the first place. But then, he was running FORTRAN programs for astrophysics, from a floppy disk, under DOS, so it was probably quite high-end gear for the time.

        1. AMBxx Silver badge

          I upgrade my old ZX Spectrum from 16KB to 48KB. I think it was about £50. That's about £1.6m per GB.

          (looking forward to some price comparisons from the 70s and earlier!)

          1. Tromos

            My Compukit UK101 (circa 1980) took pairs of 2114 chips for each kilobyte of upgrade. At £4.50 apiece that came to £72 for just 8k. £9million for a gigabyte (not to mention the cost of a 5 volt 64000 Amp supply to power it!)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        £90 a stick, a bargain

        A fair while back, Olivetti wanted two grand for a 4M upgrade for one of our OS/2 386 Sybase servers, though I suspect that was one of those "not really interested" quotes.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I remember wanting to upgrade my NeXT slab from 16MB, and found someone selling eight 4MB sticks for $800, which was a hell of a deal for the time. I only needed four since that's all free slots it had, so I bought them, installed four, and sold the other four for $600. I recall being pretty proud of myself for getting that upgrade for only $200 :)

        When I was a kid I remember my brother and I spending a couple weeks convincing our dad to pay something like $300 to buy two 16KB expansion RAM cartridges for the Atari 800. Now that was expensive RAM!

    3. WolfFan Silver badge

      the yout' o' t'day

      Back in 1985 I got 1 MB (yes, that's megabyte) SIMMs for $600 each. They had to be purchased in pairs. I had a Mac Plus which shipped with four 256 kB SIMMs. The machine cost $2500 (and was less than half the price of a PC-AT, though the AT had a 20 MB hard drive) and if I'd upgraded to the full 4 MB it could take, I'd have paid another $2400. No, it wasn't Apple RAM, but I suspect that they were inspired when they saw the pricing.

      Six months later 1 MB sticks were $300 each. I believe that they went as low as $100/stick before New Tech(tm) replaced them.

    4. Alan Brown Silver badge

      "I well remember the first time I bought some add-on RAM, for my brand-spanking-new PC-World sourced 486 rig."

      It wasn't PeeCee Whirled, and, but 64MB of ram for the (then) top of the line 486dx2/66 (2 32MB dimms) cost just shy of £2500 pounds.

      I'll leave it up to you to guess the year. As a hint, the 4GB Seagate Barracuda that went into the same box cost £2000

  3. Korev Silver badge

    Rebuild times?

    Even though Flash is much quicker than traditional discs, surely the rebuild time on an array of drives this size would be massive and maybe never complete.

    1. Sandtitz Silver badge

      Re: Rebuild times?

      Samsung 960 Pro can write roughly 2GB/s, so a 128TB drive would take roughly 18 hours to fill, so that's the theoretical minimum. Array usage during rebuilt etc. will of course be a factor.

      This is in the same realm as rebuilding hard drive arrays with 10-12TB drives. (assuming a very generous constant 200MB/s write speed)

      The M.2 PCIe3.0 x4 is limited to about 4GB/s, so there's still pleanty of headroom for Samsung to develop a faster controller.

  4. Phil W

    New interface

    Given that as the article states NGSFF is the same size as the maximum size M.2(NGFF) chip then I fail to see their argument for a new interface.

    There's no mechanical reason a board plugging into an M.2 interface is actually limited to that maximum size anyway. Simply use M.2 and make the card wider and/or longer which from the pictures it appears is what they've done.

    If it's necessary to put extra holes in for screw supports put them at the edges, as long as they're outside the standard M.2 footprints then the slot will still be compatible with normal M.2 chips, but could also accommodate Samsung chunky monsters. This doesn't need a new name, M.2 already has a variety of sizes requiring you to check whether a card will fit in your device, this is just an extension of that.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: New interface

      Agree, the M.2 interface is confusing enough right now.

  5. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    The millibit/second strikes again!

    From context, it is clear that the dies are 1Tb and stacking 8 or 16 of them makes a 1TB or 2TB chip. Is the big SSD 1Tb or 1TB?

    (On a good day, modem speeds are quoted as up to X millibits/second because marketing do not know that mega is abbreviated with an M not an m. Likes b for bits and B for bytes. On a bad day speeds are quoted as up to Xmb with a secret time period - presumably per galactic year.)

    1. TitterYeNot

      Re: The millibit/second strikes again!

      Yes, that boggled my mind for a moment too, then I also assumed sloppy capitalisation. The chips are indeed 1 Tb, not 1 TB. From the horses mouth (Samsung Newsroom):-

      Samsung Heralds Era of 1-Terabit (Tb) V-NAND Chip

    2. Phil W

      Re: The millibit/second strikes again!

      I think you mean Mebibit vs Megabit, there is no such thing as a Millibit for all intents and purposes, since the SI Prefit Milli means 1/1000th or 10-3 a Millibit would mean 0.001 of a bit which clearly can't exist (at least in conventional computing).

      The IEC prefixes for binary powers are kibi, mebi, gibi and tebi. These are stupid made up portmanteau prefixes which the ISO standard kilo with bi from binary to make kibi and so on, but those smart arses at IEC, IETF and ISO thought they were a good idea.

      Hate them myself I don't see the need, aside from the capitalisation of the b on the short name being pretty obvious usually (KB Kilobyte vs Kb Kilobit) in any context where there is likely to be confusion the proper long names to clearly show bit vs byte can be used.

      1. ArrZarr

        Re: The millibit/second strikes again!

        1 Mebibit = 1Mib = 2^20 bits

        1 Mebibyte = 1MiB = 2^20 bytes

        1 Megabit = 1Mb = 10^6 bits

        1 Megabyte = 1MB = 10^6 bytes

        The joke in the OP was that advertised as "mb" implies millibit which, as you correctly point out can't logically exist but the incorrect capitalisation from marketing is objectively wrong.

        If you yourself were joking then sorry, it went right over my head.

        1. Dale 3

          1 MiB

          They usually operate alone but sometimes have been known to work in pairs.

      2. Roj Blake

        Re: The millibit/second strikes again!

        The prefix for kilo is k, not K.

        1. bdg2

          Re: The millibit/second strikes again!

          Many people use k for 1000 and K for 1024.

          Though I guess ki is more correct than K.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The millibit/second strikes again!

      The dies are 1 Tb, stacking 16 makes a package that's 2 TB. You can also stack multiple packages in a single "chip" as well, so doing that and putting things on both sides can allow as many as 64 packages in a 2.5" drive (probably chips composed of four stacked packages, with 8 such chips on each side of the 2.5" drive)

      Between the 3D stacks on the die 64 layers deep, then the package stacking and the die stacking, I guess we're up to 4096 layers deep in a single surface mount chip these days. Pretty impressive!

  6. a_mu

    key and value

    Now that sounds like a way forward,

    store stuff with a key, just like data bases,

    I have memory that the old PDA's, was is Palm stuff, used to have an OS where everything was an object in a data base,

    1. Lee D

      Re: key and value

      Filesystems should all be databases. Microsoft really cowered out on that one, we never did see "WinFS".

      Configuration should all be databases (registry, INI files, etc.).

      Applications should be a bottled container consisting of a database and a program.

      And databases should be an internal, core, OS function (why is something like SQL not built-into the machine as an OS-level thing?)

      Everything is storing data, in an ordered fashion, and needs to be queried. Why they aren't all just databases stored "however" (in "files", in a flat table, direct in an key-store, it matters not if you only interact with the database interface instead of the underlying format), I've never understood.

      Exchange / email is just a big database. SQL is the core of every business. Almost all websites have underlying DB structures. Even WSUS and Windows updates are databases internally, not to mention file search. Most web browsers even store history, cache, etc. in databases (e.g. sqlite).

      And when can I start "tagging" files on my filesystem rather than stupid tree hierarchies? That file is simultaneously "2017", "Project X" and "Junk", so there's no way to organise it in a tree that shows me all three sensibly.

      Perfectly suited to a database - files are all listed in one huge table, and have an index number. Tags are another table. Each file contains a list of tags that it uses (either directly, or via a mapping via another table with a row for each mapping - "FILE 146475 TAG 587453987, FILE 146475 TAG 264763, FILE 146475 TAG 1237", etc..).

      Optimise the SQL and the core database enough, and it'll be insta-search, multi-tag, etc. and you can still just store the file at whatever index you want on the actual disk format. Hell, technically even the file table for fragmentation etc. is just another database.

      1. Phil W

        Re: key and value

        "Filesystems should all be databases"

        They are in essence, file allocation table is your database index, journelling on filesystems that have it is much like change tracking on a database.

        "Exchange / email is just a big database"

        Which actually just goes to prove that file systems/disks are just databases. Exchange uses the disk structure as part of the database indexing, which is why it officially only really supports 512n disks not 4k/512e (though it looks like that may be changing soon, kind of has to really given the death of 512n disks due to larger capacities)

        "And databases should be an internal, core, OS function (why is something like SQL not built-into the machine as an OS-level thing?)"

        It is, at least in Windows Server 2008 onwards. Let me introduce you to WID.

        1. Lee D

          Re: key and value

          "Windows Internal Database is not available as a standalone product for use by end-user applications... Additionally, it is designed to only be accessible to Windows Services running on the same machine."

          And that's now what I'm talking about. I'm literally talking - rather than a service that has a mini-SQL in it that other services can use - about it being an OS-managed feature. You can literally pull WID out of the install, and it's only used if it's running certain server services.

          It should be a core part of the Windows API available to all programs, services etc. and it's not.

          I can't see another non-Microsoft service / app listed that uses WID.

          1. eldakka Silver badge

            Re: key and value

            As per Phil W, filesystems are databases.

            Also, you mention SQL, SQL is not a definition or requirement of a database. It is a standardised (well mostly, every vendor has their own unique take on SQL, just because a set of statements are SQL doesn't meant they will work across all SQL databases, I've seen DB2 SQL that won't run on Oracle or MS, and vice versa) method of accessing some databases. There are NoSQL databases out there. And there are simple, fixed-function databases, limited feature sets, where implementing a SQL engine would make them more heavyweight than they need to be.

            You seem to be confusing a database with a database management system. Databases don't understand SQL, (some) database management systems understand SQL.

            There are some file systems out there that support adding meta-data to files at the filesystem level (as opposed to the file itself, e.g. some picture and video containers support various meta-data tags, but that is still a feature of the file, not the filesystem). Just because MS doesn't use it doesn't mean they don't exist.

        2. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: key and value

          >> "Filesystems should all be databases"

          > They are in essence, file allocation table is your database index, journelling on filesystems that have it is much like change tracking on a database.

          Oracle databases have been able to be addressed as databases from one angle and as filesystems from another for at least 20 years. This isn't exactly new technology or concepts

          The hardest part is bending your mind around something that's both a database and a filesystem at the same time.

      2. AMBxx Silver badge

        Re: key and value

        WinFS was too slow for the hardware available at the time. I think we've all forgotten just how ambitious MS were with Vista in the betas. All the good stuff was dropped, just leaving the stuff that should have been dropped.

        They've been planning to move Exchange to SQL for years. As far as I know, it still hasn't happened, leaving us with the horrible ebd format.

      3. richardcox13

        Re: key and value

        > why is something like SQL not built-into the machine as an OS-level thing?

        Have you seen the price* of RDBMSs that can scale to enterprise needs? Of course they are not going to be given away free. And then of course you only get to be DB engine independent by either doing a lot more development & testing or going for lowest common denominator in your usage.

        Thus not going to happen because it wouldn't actually significantly help the application deployment process.

        * Not just the headline software price but the hardware, ops, etc. to get it working reliably at high performance levels.

  7. JJKing

    Are you pleased to see me or is that a 128TB SSD in your pocket?

    I'm really not looking forward to backing up a 128TB SSD onto 3½" floppies.

    Drives are now of such a capacity that when you buy one you actually need two so you can back the sucker up. I used to be able to backup my 85MB HDD onto floppies.

    Someone above said that 1TB is all you need. Funny because that was what I was told about my 85MB drive and then my 850MB and then the 2GB one and just about every size increment after that.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Are you pleased to see me or is that a 128TB SSD in your pocket?

      "I'm really not looking forward to backing up a 128TB SSD onto 3½" floppies."

      I have these nice glass cubes and a laser etcher I can sell you....

  8. fnj

    "Someone above said that 1TB is all you need. Funny because that was what I was told about my 85MB drive and then my 850MB and then the 2GB one and just about every size increment after that."

    Like "no one needs more than 100 hp in a car". Wait, that one is actually true...

    1. Disgruntled of TW

      @fnj - ye cannae break the laws o' physics laddie.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You all sound like a bunch of old foggies. "Back in my day, I daisy chained my web-ramp with a series of Hayes 28.8 modems, and achieved a 56k download". Dudes (and dudets), this is for enterprise, AI, software defined storage underlay play. Do you know the DC space, power, cooling you would achieve and move away from the older storage monolithic storage platforms? Go buy your 1TB disk and download your porn to it and be done with ya!


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