Samsung readies shipments of SSDs pitched at data center

The PM853T uses 3-bit MLC technology to increase storage density and lower cost

Samsung Electronics has begun mass producing a more affordable SSD, seeking to help drive the technology deeper into the corporate data center.

The PM853T will start shipping before the end of June and is based on Samsung's 3-bit MLC (multi-level cell) technology, the company said Monday. That stores three bits per memory cell, which increases storage density compared to SLC (single-level cell) or 2-bit MLC drives, and helps lower the cost per bit.

The drives will first be used in large data centers, and then spread to smaller systems later in the year, according to Samsung. SSDs have started to replace traditional mechanical hard drives on PCs and servers, thanks to advantages such as better power efficiency and performance.

For now, Samsung isn't revealing what the PM853T will cost, only saying organizations will be able to upgrade at prices "similar to those of consumer SSDs."

The launch builds on the introduction of the 840 Series in 2012, which was the first 3-bit per cell SSD for the consumer market. Today, the Pro version with 256GB of storage and the same SATA interface as used by the PM853T costs US$200 on Amazon.com.

One of the drawbacks with MLC technology is higher complexity with more states and bits to keep track of, but Samsung's improved error-correction algorithms are advanced enough to cope with that, according to the company.

The PM853T will be available in three sizes, with 240GB, 480GB or 960GB of storage capacity. It has a sequential read speed of 530 MB/s (megabytes per second), while writing sequentially at 420MB/s. It will read data randomly at 90,000 IOPS (input/output operations per second) and handle sustained random writes at 14,000 IOPS, according to Samsung.

Micron is also going after the enterprise market for SSDs, and last week started shipping the M500DC, which also uses MLC technology and has 120GB, 240GB, 480GB or 800GB of storage capacity. The price tag for the drive is $1 per gigabyte.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Tags SSDDrivesmicron technologystorageSamsung ElectronicsComponentsmemory

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Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service

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