SSDs on a chip
consumer SSDs market
Efficiency - making the
same SSD - with less chips
Storage SSDs will the new concept fly?
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 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 distorting
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
And more recently - in 2012 - Samsung demonstrated that it
could leverage its memory technologies within leading edge
tiny embedded SSDs
which were aimed at vertical markets which Samsung well understood - like
phones and tablets.
SSD market is
complicated and no single company has the talent to develop leading IP for
more than a small fraction of SSD segments. Therefore to satisfy its strategic
ambitions and to make the
being a leading memory memory maker in an
HDD world to a
leading SSD company in an SSD storage world - the only realistic business
option for Samsung is be
This is a strategy it started in
2008 when it
tried to acquire SanDisk (but failed).
Realistically Samsung needs to
buy at least 5 SSD companies.
In a couple more years there will be
2x as many SSD
companies in the market as there are in 2012. There will be more choice and
the question of who to buy and why will become clearer.
- a high IOPS flash SSD specialist for the enterprise acceleration market -
- a high reliability medium perfomance flash SSD specialist for the
bulk storage / cloud
- a TLC specialist with
DSP for the phone and consumer markets (that was the thinking behind trying
to buy SanDisk)
- a RAM SSD systems
maker or RAM SSD DIMM
module enabling IP company
- an SSD software
company - such as the company's acquisition in 2012 of
- and maybe an extra one for luck - just in case one of the others goes
wrong - or still leaves big gaps.
invested in a lot of SSD companies - and that's another way Samsung can get an
idea of where the hot SSD growth prospects are.
If you're looking
seriously at Samsung SSDs then you can find alternative competing manufacturers
in these directories too:-
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.
2009 - Samsung
announced that HP was
offering its SSDs as an option in ProLiant servers.
Also in September
2009 - Samsung
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.
October 2009 - Samsung
has invested in Fusion-io.
Iin January 2010 -
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 video from
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
- and got its lowest ever ranking.
June 2010 - to save power
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 - Samsung and Seagate
they will jointly develop
technologies to operate with Samsung's 30nm-class MLC NAND. The jointly
developed controller will be used in
In October 2010 -
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.
December 2010 - 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 encryption
algorithm to assure reliability
and security for the drive.
In April 2011 -
Samsung announced it is
the hard disk market.
Seagate has agreed to
acquire Samsung's HDD assets for $1.375 billion.
In August 2011
- Samsung acquired
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.
November 2012 - Samsung
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
|SSD Pricing -
where does all the money go?|
|SSDs are among the most
expensive computer hardware products you will ever buy. |
the factors which determine SSD costs is often a confusing and irritating
|| ...not made any easier when
market prices for identical capacity SSDs can vary more than 100x to 1!
Why is that? ...read
sudden power loss|
|Why should you care
what happens in an SSD when the power goes down? |
This important design
feature - has a strong impact on
SSD data integrity
This article will help you understand why some
SSDs which (work perfectly well in one type of application) might fail in
others... even when the changes in the operational environment appear to be
|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.
|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 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.