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Evolving Storage Solutions: Breakthroughs, Innovations, and a Sustainable Future

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Samsung has long held a reputation as the most powerful solution provider in the flash storage industry. This is due in part to the fact that it boasts the industry’s widest product lineup, encompassing everything from enterprise and data centers to client, brand, mobile, and automotive storage, as well as legacy, new, and emerging technologies. This makes Samsung an exceptional partner for a wide range of exciting projects. Supporting a superior user experience Samsung innovations in the mobile and brand-client storage segments are prime examples of solutions consumers can enjoy in their daily lives. Recently, Samsung became the first in the world to begin mass production of UFS 4.0. Utilizing Samsung Foundry’s 5nm logic process, UFS 4.0 supports 46% greater power efficiency than UFS 3.1 products, with double the I/O bandwidth and benchmark performance. UFS 4.0 will effectively bring SSD-level performance to mobile applications, launching a smarter, slimmer, and more powerful mobile era.
Samsung’s recently released PCIe Gen4-based brand SSD, the 990 Pro, also raises the bar for benchmark performance, outpacing any other product currently on the market. With the industry’s highest UX performance, the 990 Pro adds new levels of power to console gaming. It also features a newly developed thermal control that optimizes high data loads for everything from 3D rendering and 4K video to high-performance graphic games and big data analysis. The PM9C1a, meanwhile, integrated with a new controller based on Samsung’s cutting-edge 5-nanometer (nm) process and the company’s seventh-generation V-NAND technology, will provide elevated computing and gaming performance in PCs and laptops. The PM9C1a offers up to 70% more power efficiency per watt than its predecessor and it also supports the Device Identifier Composition Engine (DICE) security standard created by the Trusted Computing Group (TCG) to address the rising need for stronger security measures. Samsung’s history of innovating in the automotive world traces back to its introduction of in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) solutions with the eMMC. That was followed by a UFS solution in 2019, an SSD in 2020, and in 2021, a high-performance, large-capacity storage SSD known as the Auto SSD. That solution is in the process of being brought to market, as is a UFS 3.1 product based on ASPICE Level 2 that is set to launch in 2023. Streamlining storage infrastructure At its recent Memory Tech Day in San Jose, California, Samsung announced that it had completed compatibility evaluations for its first-of-its-kind PCIe Gen5 SSD, the PM1743. Now in mass production, the PM1743 supports both single- and dual-port operations and has been optimized to provide at least 40% greater performance per unit of power than PCI Gen4. The drive also includes functions catered specifically to data centers, which have long found it difficult to optimize speed and cooling while dealing with limited space and electricity.
Samsung’s 8-channel NVMe PCIe Gen 5 SSD balances those factors while delivering 1.8 times faster performance than Gen4. Not only does it offer 17% greater power efficiency, but it is also OCP-compliant and supports all major form factors, which means it can be seamlessly incorporated into various data center configurations. Since launching the SM1625 in 2012, Samsung has introduced one innovative SAS product after another, culminating with the mass production of the first-of-its-kind PM1653 24G SAS SSD in 2021. Offering twice the bandwidth and 31% better power efficiency than its predecessor, the PM1653 is poised to streamline storage infrastructure while maximizing throughput. As the number of SSDs required for data centers to operate increases, the technology required to manage them becomes more and more important. To add reliability to this aspect of server operations, Samsung has announced plans to provide a telemetry service that will streamline data management tasks. Customers operating data centers will be able to use the service and its predefined telemetry data sets to detect and address issues more effectively and maintain high performance. This service, combined with the separate, management-focused controller that Samsung is developing for application in future SSD products, will help enable more efficient server operations in various data center environments. The journey toward implementing ultra-high capacities Since introducing a 16TB SSD in 2016, Samsung has been leading the development of high-capacity SSDs with pioneering advancements in V-NAND technology. That breakthrough was followed by Samsung’s introduction of a 32TB SSD at the 2017 Flash Memory Summit, a 64TB SSD in 2019, and a QLC-based 128TB prototype SSD in 2021. In 2020, Samsung responded to growing demand for QLC-based high-capacity products by developing the PCIe Gen3 BM1733a. Next year, Samsung plans to develop a PCIe Gen4 SSD that supports double the bandwidth and 70% greater power efficiency than the current version.
Meanwhile, SSD form factors continue to diversify, with high-capacity SSDs increasing the amount of data that can be stored on one server. With solutions like Samsungs’ PM1743 capable of storing 1PB of data on a single 2U server, we are witnessing the beginning of a new era of data storage and processing. Eventually, storage architectures will expand to exabytes (EB), and even zettabytes (ZB), and high-capacity SSDs will enable PB-scale storage boxes to serve as disaggregated building blocks for ultra-high-density storage systems. The PB SSD solutions that Samsung has proposed will use a variety of media options, including QLC, to increase space efficiency and provide more value for optimized device management, which can help reduce data centers’ storage TCO.
A sustainable future for storage solutions With global warming posing a serious threat to the environment, it is also important that the IT industry as a whole take necessary steps to reduce its carbon footprint. Right now, the industry is responsible for 10% of global electricity usage, with data centers accounting for 10% of that figure. Addressing this issue will require the industry to employ efficient cooling, clean energy, and a circular economy. Because server operations are particularly power-intensive, developing more energy-efficient server designs must be a top priority. One way we can reduce servers’ power consumption is by minimizing unnecessary data movement with data-centric computing. This entails three key elements: devices, interfaces, and architecture. With data increasing at a rapid pace, new devices like Samsung’s second generation SmartSSD will enable it to be processed more efficiently, closer to its location. Technologies with byte-addressable interfaces such as CXL, including Samsung’s Memory-Semantic SSD, can be used to filter out unnecessary data, while a domain-specific architecture can support high throughput with low power. Samsung has also been working with various partners to develop energy-efficient solutions. The SmartSSD-based fully homomorphic encryption (FHE) accelerator that it is developing will help make the technology more practical, and includes support for Korean data security startup Cryptolab’s FHE library. Samsung has also been collaborating with Esperanto to develop an efficient AI recommendation system that utilizes MS-SSDs to remove bottlenecks. Samsung remains deeply committed to the storage industry’s development and will continue collaborating with partners to overcome obstacles to innovation.