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Samsung’s Second-Generation SmartSSD Computational Storage Drive Slashes Processing Time and Energy Consumption

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Machine- and user-generated data and content provide a massive opportunity for the modern enterprise, delivering business insights that help to optimize operations, develop products that delight customers and facilitate positive change in our society. But harnessing the power of Big Data is not easy – the sheer volume of data creates unprecedented challenges around secure storage, retrieval, processing and analysis. While traditional storage and server architectures rely on moving all data through a host CPU for processing, this creates a bottleneck between storage and the CPU that can limit access to processing resources, create substantial delays and result in unreliable performance. These problems will only intensify as the amount of data generated by businesses continues to skyrocket. IDC predicts new data creation will grow at a CAGR of 23%, reaching 175 zettabytes by 2025↗. Samsung is committed to developing extremely high-performance, energy-efficient computational storage solutions to power an array of data-intensive applications and use cases, from AI and machine learning to analytics, virtualization, 5G and others. With the recent announcement of its second-generation SmartSSD® computational storage drive (CSD), we have transcended the boundaries of what is possible in computational storage. Samsung + AMD: Turning Big Data into Fast Data Powered by the Xilinx Adaptive Platform, Samsung’s second-generation SmartSSD is the ideal customizable, programmable computational storage platform. It performs high-speed computations of big data wherever it is stored and offers a flexible platform for developers to innovate groundbreaking solutions. How does it accomplish these performance improvements? By processing data directly, where it resides. By integrating a powerful and flexible Xilinx Versal™ Adaptive SoC from AMD into a solid-state drive (SSD) from Samsung, computation can occur in parallel at the drive level. This minimizes data transfers between the CPU, GPU and RAM, reducing the energy spent on moving data and allowing the host CPU to handle higher-level tasks more efficiently. Compared to conventional data center SSDs, processing time for scan-heavy database queries can be slashed by over 50%, energy consumption by up to 70% and CPU utilization by up to 97%.
In addition, Samsung’s second-generation SmartSSD is fully and easily programmable at both hardware and software levels, making it simpler than ever to realize these performance gains. And the gains scale near-linearly with data growth, even with an oversubscribed host CPU. According to Sina Soltani, Corporate Vice President of Sales, AECG, Data Center and Communication Group at AMD, “as data-intensive applications continue to grow, the second-generation Samsung SmartSSD will deliver the superior performance and efficiency required for this expanding market.” Enabling Data and Analytics Acceleration for Data-Intensive Applications There are two primary uses for Samsung’s SmartSSD drive:
  1. Data acceleration services such as compression/decompression, encryption/decryptions, erasure coding, metadata management, data format conversions or on-the-fly video transcoding.
  2. Analytics acceleration services such as database and data lake acceleration, predicate pushdown for ad-hoc database queries, log searching, image recognition, object detection, media content distribution and AI/ML inferences.
The drives can be deployed in the datacenter or at the edge. In both scenarios the lower system energy consumption is an advantage.
In collaboration with SNIA and NVM Express, Samsung is actively contributing to the global standardization for computational storage devices like SmartSSD and enabling the computational storage market with reference architectures and programming interfaces. SNIA has developed a computational storage architecture specification and programming API to provide a common approach that may be adopted by customers and solutions ecosystem partners. Within the NVMe standards organization, new specifications are under development to provide command options into computational storage devices that support NVMe interfaces. Energy-Efficient Performance, Unlimited Possibilities Since 2020, Samsung has worked closely with AMD to develop its SmartSSDs, and the first-generation SmartSSD was recognized as an Innovation Honoree at CES 2021 for its outstanding performance and energy efficiency. With its second-generation SmartSSD, Samsung is poised to enable a broad range of functions, limited only by the imagination of today’s bright and innovative developers. To learn more about Samsung’s market-leading SSD storage solutions, visit