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Samsung Brings Revolutionary Software Innovation to PCIe Gen4 SSDs for Maximized Storage Performance

Published: Sep 20,2019

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Samsung Electronics announced that it has brought the latest software innovations to the company's most cutting-edge PCIe Gen4 solid state drive (SSD) series, opening up a new paradigm in SSD performance.

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"We are combining breakthrough speeds and capacities with revolutionary software solutions as we accelerate expansion in the premium SSD market," said Kye Hyun Kyung, executive vice president of Memory Solution Product & Development at Samsung Electronics. "We plan to introduce additional innovation led by our most advanced (sixth-generation) V-NAND in helping to trigger a lot more growth in the global IT market."

The three software innovations include: 1) 'fail-in-place (FIP) technology' that ensures a 'never-die' SSD, 2) 'virtualization technology' that provides independent virtual workspaces for multiple users, and 3) 'V-NAND machine learning technology' that utilizes big data to accurately verify data validity even when operating at ultra-high speeds.

Samsung's FIP technology marks a new milestone in the 60-year history of storage by ensuring that SSDs maintain normal operation even when errors occur at the chip level, enabling a never-dying SSD for the first time in the industry. In the past, failure in just one out of several hundred NAND chips meant having to replace an entire SSD, causing system downtime and additional drive replacement cost.

SSDs integrated with Samsung's FIP software can detect a faulty chip, scan for any damage in data, then relocate the data into working chips. For instance, if a fault is identified in any of the 512 NAND chips inside a 30.72TB SSD, the FIP software would automatically activate error-handling algorithms at the chip level while maintaining the drive's high, stable performance.

Samsung’s SSD virtualization technology allows a single SSD to be subdivided into a maximum of 64 smaller SSDs, providing independent, virtual workspaces for multiple users. Leveraging this software, cloud storage providers can extend their services to a greater number of users with the same amount of resources for optimized product competitiveness. The virtualization technology also enables SSDs to take on some of the virtualized tasks typically carried out by the server CPUs, such as Single-Root I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV), requiring fewer server CPUs and SSDs, thereby reducing the server footprint for enhanced overall IT efficiency.

The company's V-NAND machine learning technology helps to accurately predict and verify cell characteristics, as well as detect any variation among circuit patterns through big data analytics. This ensures superior data reliability as increasing SSD speeds pose a challenge in reading and verifying data through the extremely rapid voltage pulses. An SSD built with over 100-layer four-bit NAND, which requires considerably more precise cell control than three-bit NAND, is able to generate the higher levels of performance, capacity and reliability needed in server and datacenter storage systems with the machine learning software.

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