Samung Going After Intel Optane with Z-NAND SZ985 Storage Unit

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Is a storage war brewing, while massively and way too expensive to make its way to the consumer market, Intel Optane SSD storage is very promising. But hey, where smoke there's fire. Samsung has shared details on its Z-NAND

Z-NAND seems to be tweaked Samsung flash technology. In essence, the claim is Samsung is going back to the bare roots, by using SLC NAND (1 bit/cell). That SLC written NAND is paired with a blazingly fast NVMe controller - and all customised controller to speed things up.

 "The first storage device based on Samsung’s Z-NAND technology is the SZ985 — an “ultra-low latency” flash storage drive. The Samsung SZ985 Z-NAND SSD shares the fundamental structure of Samsung’s V-NAND — the industry’s leading 3D flash production technology. It offers a unique circuit design and controller, which together serve to maximize performance. The SZ985 provides 5.5 times lower latency than today’s leading NVMe SSDs. Available in an 800GB capacity, the drive has been designed with proven NAND technology for improved reliability, exceptional scalability, and greater cost-efficiency. This pioneering generation of Z-SSD’s can easily be considered the optimal storage solution for latency sensitive, I/O-intensive applications."

A big benefit Optane over NAND flash is (if you'd ever notice it) lower access latency at 10μs for both reads and writes compared to 110-120μs for your typical NVMe SSD read. That said, Samsung is working on releasing their Z-NAND SZ985 storage unit, as described above with 1-bit per cell (SLC) written NAND. Now let's compare the performance of the hot intel Optane P4800X drive and the pending Samsung Z-NAND SZ985, both in add-in-card format and with similar capacities:

 TechCapacityR/W IOPSR/W bandwidthLifeR/W Latency
Optane P4800X 3D XPoint 750GB 550K 2.4/2.0 GB/sec 41 PBW 10/10μs
SZ985 SLC NAND 800GB 750K/170K 3.2/3.2 GB/sec 42.7 PBW 12-20/16μs

As you can see, the endurance is roughly similar to Optane at a staggering ~43 Petabyte written, it's nearly as fast in access time albeit a notch slower and yeah, it's roughly a third faster overall as well. Samsung released a PDF on this storage unit, read it here if we just got your tastebuds flowing.

Samsung Z-NAND PDFvia The Register

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