|Editor:- January 8, 2016 - Samsung was ranked #14 in the
Top SSD Companies
researched by StorageSearch.com
based on reader search metrics in
was named as 1 of the top 3 enterprise SSD drive makers with more than a
billion dollars of enterprise SSD revenue in a news story reported in
main thing missing in Samsung's enterprise SSD strategy is that it hasn't
acquired a rackmount
SSD company yet.
Being a smartphone company and notebook maker
helps Samsung understand what's needed to customize
consumer flash -
but being an enterprise systems company is the ultimate way to get
enterprise competitiveness and customer access.
There are risks
involved in such acquisitions
as we've seen happen already. Past customers of the acquired company become
competitors and stop buying the SSDs which made the acquired company
interesting. So you have to be prepared to go all the way.
Based on my
interpretation of Samsung's track record in repurposing acquired
SSD software and its
past history - I doubt if Samsung has the management culture and DNA to make the
transition to being a leading box maker yet. But relationships with
cloud customers could
provide an alternative mult-year path in which Samsung can remain being a
supplier of SSD parts rather than integrated boxes. And enterprise box
standardization (in the next 3-4 years) will create opportunities for white box
systems which Samsung could leverage later.
SSDs on a chip
consumer SSDs market
Efficiency - making the
same SSD - with less chips
Storage SSDs will the new concept fly?
Will there be enough
manufacturing capacity to enable flash SSDs to replace 50% of new orders for
enterprise hard drives in 2016? - This is discussed in the thought provoking
meet Ken - and the
enterprise SSD software event horizon
Samsung was the first
multi-billion dollar revenue company to recognize the strategic importance
of SSDs and in
publicly declared its ambition to become the world's largest supplier of
But for the next 5 years (2005 to 2010 Samsung's SSD product
were merely "me-too" - lagging severely behind in performance
and intended for use in
PCs which had originally been designed for hard drives. Samsung wasn't the
only large scale corporate to under perform with its early SSDs.
was't alone in this respect.
StorageSearch.com believes that a
common factor which led Samsung, Intel, Seagate and EMC to initially misjudge
the needs of SSD users for many years - was that their corporate
management at all levels didn't understand SSDs - due to preconceived notions
that we sum up as the
market lenses of "SSDs are similar to". This was coupled with
having to make product decisions in a fast changing disruptive market when
many traditional sources of market data were unhelpful in offering any
better insights as to what was going on - or were poorly positioned to deliver
reliable SSD market.
Despite those years of thrashing around in the
SSD market and apparently getting nowhere - lessons were being learned.
improved its SSD offerings in December 2010 - when the company started
sampling its first credible 2.5" SSDs for use in
2011 Samsung - seeing that where the
growing size of
the SSD market was incompatible with its own HDD business - exited the
manufacturing business - selling its HDD assets to
Seagate for $1.375
And more recently - in 2012 and 2013 - Samsung reminded
everyone that it could leverage its memory technologies by shipping leading
edge 10nm flash in
embedded SSDs aimed
at the phone market, while at the same time being a player in the enterprise
SAS SSD market and a
market transformer in the sluggish notebook market which the company will
rejuvenate with its first ever (consumer grade)
you're looking seriously at Samsung SSDs then you can find alternative competing
manufacturers in these directories too:-
SAS SSD market.
to the fortunes of SSD (July 2013) which explains why companies like Samsung
can't afford NOT to be in the SSD market - even if it's not clear whether
the steps they're taking along the way will be profitable in the near term.
In August 2009 -
announced it is
the PC gaming industry with its 256GB SSD. This seems to confirm the
consumer-led focus of the company's business strategy. Earlier StorageSearch.com
had said it doesn't think Samsung's SSD product marketing is good enough
to achieve success in the enterprise server market.
In September 2009 -
Samsung announced that
HP was offering its SSDs as
an option in ProLiant servers.
Also in September 2009 -
it has begun producing 512Mb PRAM memory. PRAM combines the speed of RAM for
processing functions with the non-volatile characteristics of flash memory for
storage. This has been a Problematic RAM technology. Samsung originally
announced a working prototype
of the 512Mb PRAM 3 years earlier - in September 2006.
- Samsung announced
has invested in Fusion-io.
that they have agreed a $900 million settlement for all claims
between them - and they have agreed a perpetual fully paid-up license to certain
In March 2010 - a
Samsung was featured
in a new directory of SSD
videos - here on StorageSearch.com
In April 2010 -
Samsung dropped out of
top 10 SSD oems list
- 2010 Q1 edition
and got its lowest ever ranking #14. (Although that would still be a very good
rank in the enlarged SSD market of the years which would follow.)
June 2010 - to
save power in notebooks
imminent volume production of a 512GB
SATA SSD - the 1st to
DDR NAND which enables sequential R/W speeds upto 250MB/s and 220MB/s
respectively while using about half the power of a regular
flash SSD of the
In August 2010 -
they will jointly develop
technologies to operate with Samsung's 30nm-class MLC NAND. The jointly
developed controller will be used in
Samsung said it is
shipping 200GB 3.5"
SATA SLC SSDs to EMC.
Sequential R/W speeds are 260MB/s and 245MB/s respectively. R/W
47,000 and 29,000. The new Samsung SSDs have an 'end-to-end
function and encryption.
- Samsung announced
it is sampling 400GB 2.5" SATA MLC SSDs for use as the primary storage in
enterprise storage systems (instead of hard drives). The new SSDs can process
random read commands at 43,000 IOPS and random writes at 11,000 IOPS. In
addition, they have an 'end-to-end data protection' function with advanced data
to assure reliability
and security for the drive.
Samsung announced it is
the hard disk market.
Seagate has agreed to
acquire Samsung's HDD assets for $1.375 billion.
In August 2011 -
Grandis - an
RAM company which has been developing spin transfer torque random access
In January 2012
fast purge SSD market
- which currently numbers about 25 companies. The company says that models of
its PM810 2.5" SATA SSD family with its Crypto Erase technology deletes
targeted data in a couple of seconds regardless of the overall volume of data or
the capacity of the SSD. These models have been validated for compliance to
In October 2012 -
Samsung entered the
SAS SSD market.
eMMC SSDs which use 10nm flash geometry. Aimed at the phone and tablet
market - R/W IOPS performance is 5,000 and 2,000 respectively. R/W throughput
is 260MB/s and 50MB/s.
In December 2012 -
acquired NVELO - an
SSD software company -
products for the
In June 2013 -
Samsung entered the
PCIe SSD market - with
models aimed at notebooks.
In July 2013 -
announced its entry into the
2.5" PCIe SSD
market. Its NVMe SSD has upto 1.6TB capacity, read throughput upto 3GB/s,
and up to 740K
it has started production of 2.5" SATA SSDs aimed at the enterprise market
- which use the company's new
3D Vertical NAND flash memories.
|Samsung does fast phone
64GB SSDs on 10nm|
|Editor:- November 15, 2012 - Samsung today
they've started production of
eMMC SSDs which use 10nm flash geometry. |
Aimed at the phone
and tablet market - R/W IOPS performance is 5,000 and 2,000 respectively. R/W
throughput is 260MB/s and 50MB/s.
Editor's comments:- this
shows that when Samsung sees a huge enough market opportunity for a specific
range of SSDs their engineers are clever enough to design and make it. See
also:- tiny SSDs
enters dual port SAS SSD market|
|Editor:- October 31, 2012 - Samsung today
announced its belated entry into the serious end of the
SAS SSD market with
the launch of its 1st dual port SAS SSD - the
(2Xnm flash) has upto 800GB capacity and upto 101,000 / 23,000 R/W IOPS
(when using both ports. It also includes
loss data protection. |
Samsung also launched today new models
SATA SSDs - the
SM843 - with endurance
rated at 1064TBW (terabytes written) - which doesn't sound that great to me -
but is (according to their own press release) 17x better than what
they had before.
"Samsung will aggressively produce its new
line-up of SSDs beginning this month to accelerate SSDs' move into not only the
server but also the storage marketplace, as we continue to affirm our leadership
in the SSD market." said Myungho Kim VP of SSD marketing at
Editor's comments:- if you compare this with the
announcement from SMART
- you can see what the advantages are of having better
SMART is able to use smaller geometry
flash memory while still
delivering superior endurance. Nevertheless the anticipated growth in
adoption of SAS SSDs will easily sustain the growth aspirations of most of
the 20 or so companies who actually make them.
|Samsung allocates $1
billion to clarify forward visibility in big data|
|Editor:- February 4, 2013 - Samsung today
it has allocated over $1 billion to invest in big data related business
Editor's comments:- to you and me - $1 billion
sounds like a lot of money - but for Samsung? - really it's small change.
my past conversations with people in the company who think about
strategic stuff - I'm left with the impression of a company which invests a lot
of talent - trying to understand what's going on out there and - to analyze
what macro market factors and changes will impact its semiconductor fabs.
was actually the first multi-billion dollar scale company to publicly recognize
the strategic importance of the SSD market (2005). But
replacing past memory business with new SSD business for many years was a
problem on the scale of bailing out water from the Titanic with bathtub size
Like other big interested entities - Samsung could do little
more than satisfice its engagements in SSD while waiting for the whole SSD
market to get bigger, and the trends to get clearer.
Along the way it
has invested in some SSD IP companies - such as
others like NVELO, and
tried but failed to acquire SanDisk
than simply being seen as traditional return on investments - this type of
activity by Samsung and other semico companies like
Intel - is a way of
ensuring strategic forward visibility into new seedlings in the ecosystems
which surround their core businesses.
Samsung was the first multi-billion dollar revenue company to recognize the
strategic importance of SSDs and in 2005 publicly declared its ambition to
become the world's largest supplier of SSDs.SSD market
Samsung codesign flash-as-RAM DIMMs|
|Editor:- November 19, 2015 - Netlist today
how it's going to enter the storage class memory SSD DIMM wars market. This by
way of a 5 year joint development and license with Samsung which also
brings to the table $23 million of funding. The companies expect to sample
products in 2016.|
Editor's comments:- 2015 was a signficant
kick-start year for the server memory market.
retiering enterprise DRAM was one of the three big SSD ideas of the year.
|cooling fans essential for
high speed operation of Samsung's new M.2 PCIe SSDs|
|Editor:- April 12, 2015 -
PCIe SSD - the SM951 - launched in
January 2015 - is
the subject a new
in the SSD Review. |
Among other things it was interesting
to see how much the
of the SSD heated up when operating at high speed and heavy workloads and
the importance of accurately designed heat extraction if you plan to use this
SSD in such a way.
|Samsung mass produces 3TB
3D 10 DWPD PCIe SSDs|
|Editor:- September 25, 2014 - Samsung today
announced it has started mass producing 3.2 TB NVMe
PCIe SSDs (HHHL)
based on its 3D flash memory
technology, for use in enterprise systems.
new NVMe PCIe SSD, SM1715 provides a sequential R/W speeds upto 3GB/s and
2.2GB/s respectively with
rated at 10 DWPD for 5
In March 2014 -
reporting on a conversation I had with
FMJ - I alerted readers to
their characterization of 3D for
- and the indication that endurance (due to better intrinsic materials) was2-3x
better than 2D at the same cell geometry.
|Samsung offers 1st
generation 3D nand flash SSDs for enterprise|
|Editor:- August 13, 2013 -
it has started production of 2.5" SATA SSDs aimed at the enterprise market
- which use the company's new
3D Vertical NAND flash memories. |
Samsung says its 3D flash is
intrinsically more reliable, faster and uses less power than traditional 2D
flash at the same (10nm class) line geometries.
comments:- As SSDs - and compared spec by spec to any other SSDs - the new
V-NAND SSDs aren't remarkable - 960GB capacity and 35K
- which is what the market (in this case -
cloud storage array
But Samsung's new V-NAND SSDs are simply the first step
in the journey towards characterizing this new technology and to achieve
Samsung says its 3D technology could deliver
upto 24 cell layers vertically, using special etching technology that connects
the layers electronically by punching holes from the highest layer to the
When that happens - each wafer will be able to deliver an
order of magnitude more storage capacity from the same number of wafer starts -
using the same line resolution as traditional (planar) flash cells. (If you
think about the difference it made
when the market
went from SLC to MLC and then again to TLC - the eventual market impact
will be bigger than all those combined.) But getting the chips and production
equipment proven and economic for double digit 3D cells will take years from
where we are now.
Adding each vertical layer takes additional
processing time. In some ways it's like adding more layers to your pizza -
except that - the successive layers of topping have to match up very precisely.
(Around 2,000x more precisely than the state of the art in metal additive
technology - to give you an idea of the difficulty and the elapsed time
|Samsung enters PCIe SSD
|Editor:- June 17, 2013 - Samsung has entered
the PCIe SSD market
with an M.2 form factor model (80mm x 22mm) aimed at
Samsung's XP941 - which weighs less than 6g - has a sequential read
performance of 1,400MB/s, and capacity up to 512GB.
market began the year before PCIe SSDs started being used in the
But in the first 5 years of its history (2006-2010) the
notebook SSD market was a disappointment to SSD evangelists like me - because
integration with PCs was so bad. And for years on these pages I ranted that
notebooks using SSDs would never be able to reach their true potential as long
as they were still wasting their inherently light CPU resources and latency
advantages by talking to the CPU via old fashioned
hard disk interfaces
exciting thing about today's announcement by Samsung is that consumer grade
PCIe SSDs for notebooks will enable a dramatically different user experience
which will help to create new markets.
Will there be a crossover into
the enterprise market?
It's inevitable that some people will ask -
what would an array of consumer priced PCIe SSDs look like in a box? And no
doubt you will probably see such products coming onto the market. And that
might lead to a temporary state of user confusion about expectations for PCIe
But setting aside for the moment the obvious considerations at
the single drive level of differences in
characteristics - I think the key differentiators of enterprise PCIe SSDs
compared to consumer
PCIe SSDs are the different degree of
(higher for the enterprise),
management and support for fault tolerance.
|let's hear it again for
Samsung's 10nm TLC|
|Editor:- April 10, 2013 - the
difference between "production" and "mass production"
wouldn't normally be enough to rate a 2nd mention on my
SSD news page - even after
an interval of 5 months by which time most editors will have forgotten the
earlier news instance. |
But a worthy exception to this little
editorial rule of mine
10nm, x3 MLC, 128Gb nand
flash which the company
Which way round did the transition go?
That would be
a valid question if you knew nothing at all about the
dynamics of the SSD
And at some time in the distant future the flash
fab taps may indeed be turning down the flow.
But just to reassure
you - in case you have any doubt - it was the transition from "production"
to "mass production" which the company noted today. No need to
change the memory investment portfolio just yet.