Being the world’s largest provider of 3D NAND each by way of income and bit shipments, Samsung often adopts modern manufacturing nodes to extend the bit density and capacities of its solid-state drives. On the China Flash Reminiscence Market Summit, the corporate mentioned that capability of a single SSD can improve to 1 petabyte (PB, or 1,024 terabytes), however that is clearly not going to occur in a single day.
In line with a report from A&SMag, Samsung expects 3D NAND to proceed each bodily and logical scaling, that means that NAND flash cell sizes will lower and the variety of layers will improve, so that every layer will have the ability to retailer extra information. Moreover, Samsung anticipates extra superior packaging applied sciences for 3D NAND ICs. Bodily, logical, and packaging improvements will improve the capability of a drive to 1PB inside the subsequent decade, the corporate indicated on the occasion.
Samsung has been supplying among the trade’s highest-capacity SSDs for a very long time. The corporate was among the many first to mass produce a 15.36TB drive in 2016, then it rolled out a 3D TLC-based 30.72TB product in 2017. These drives aren’t on our listing of the greatest SSDs as a result of mediocre efficiency (to not point out extraordinarily excessive costs, from a shopper standpoint), however those that want a great deal of flash storage can make the most of these spacious drives. Samsung additionally demonstrated a 64TB SSD in 2019 after which showcased a 3D QLC NAND-based 128TB prototype SSD in 2021, however these gadgets have but to enter mass manufacturing.
In reality, in contrast to a few of its trade friends, Samsung makes use of 3D QLC NAND reminiscence slightly conservatively and is at present “researching methods to deliver QLC know-how into the mainstream” by innovating its controllers.
However Samsung appears to confess that bodily scaling (shrinking NAND cells and growing the variety of NAND layers) to ~1000-layers per 3D NAND machine is just not sufficient by itself to quickly improve the bit density of flash reminiscence, and so, logical scaling (growing the variety of bits saved per cell) is required.
In contrast to Samsung, Kioxia (previously Toshiba) has been significantly vocal about logical scaling of NAND. Again in 2019, Kioxia was the primary 3D NAND producer to debate the event of PLC (penta degree cell) 3D NAND reminiscence able to storing 5 bits per cell (bpc). Kioxia’s crew of scientists and engineers adopted up with an illustration of operational 3D HLC (hexa degree cell) 3D NAND reminiscence that saved 6 bpc in 2021. The corporate even expressed the opinion that 8bpc OLC (octa-level cell) 3D NAND reminiscence was doable.
To retailer six bits per cell, this NAND cell should maintain 64 voltage ranges, whereas an 8bpc OLC 3D NAND wants to carry 256 voltage states. Growing the variety of bits per cell presents a number of challenges for producers.
Firstly, they need to determine the best supplies that may retailer 64 or 256-voltage states whereas additionally with the ability to differentiate between them to make sure they do not intervene with one another. Secondly, they want to have the ability to produce utilizing such materials in excessive quantity. Thirdly, they should handle temperatures for such 3D NAND, but it turns into more and more tough because the variety of bits per cell will increase. Lastly, they should develop extraordinarily advanced ECC algorithms for 3D HLC and 3D OLC NAND reminiscence and such controllers would require important compute horsepower. Consequently, the price of such controllers could offset the advantages of logical scaling of 3D NAND.
Samsung will face many of those challenges on the trail to enabling 1 petabyte SSDs inside the subsequent decade, however for now the corporate is not sharing additional particulars of the way it hopes to perform the feat.