Samsung to compete with 3D Xpoint with today’s announced Z-NAND NVMe SSDs

Posted 30 January 2018 17:24 CET by Jan Willem Aldershoff

Samsung today announced new models in its Z-SSD series, the SZ985. The NVMe drive will be available a HHHL form-factor in capacities of 240GB and 800GB and should compete with Intel’s Optane enterprise offerings such as the Intel DC P4800X.

The SZ985 drives contain Samsung’s Z-NAND that should compete with Intel’s 3D Xpoint memory. According to Samsung the drives have a latency of 16 microseconds and the company specifies  maximum random reads of up top 750,000 IOPS and random writes at up to 170,000.

To achieve these performance the numbers, the drive uses the PCIe Gen3 x4 interface, 1.5GB of LPDDR4 DRAM and an unknown controller. It’s unclear what exactly Z-NAND memory is, as far as we know now, it’s optimized SLC NAND.

Samsung guarantees up to 30 drive writes per day (DWPD) for five years, or a total of 42 petabytes. The company specifies a mean time between failures (MTBF) of two million hours.

The drive is targeted for usage where high performance, high reliability and ultra-low latency is required, such as big data, Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence applications.

Samsung hasn’t disclosed any pricing information. The  SZ985 Z-SSD in 800GB and 240GB versions, as well as related technologies, will be demonstrated at ISSCC 2018 (International Solid-State Circuits Conference), which will be held February 11-15 in San Francisco.


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