At FMS 2023, Samsung showed off a huge SSD. Although not the Samsung PB SSD we have seen previously, this is a 256TB NVMe SSD, which is huge! To do this, Samsung made a NAND accordion to increase the space for NAND chips inside the SSD.
Samsung 256TB E3.L NVMe SSD at FMS 2023
The case with the SSD was in the back corner of Samsung’s booth. Once there, we found the 256TB NVMe SSD.
The SSD uses the newer E3.L EDSFF form factor. We covered E1 and E3 EDSFF a few quarters ago:
Although many SSDs we see today are starting to become available in E3.S form factors, Samsung is using E3.L here, and a fairly thick drive. One can see the controller, memory, and then what we are calling an accordion of NAND packages because there is not enough physical space on the main PCB to fit all of the NAND packages required to hit 256TB.
Samsung says this drive is using its V7 1Tb QLC NAND. There are a total of 64 NAND packages onboard the drive.
On a performance-per-TB basis, this is probably not ideal so QLC NAND and just getting massive capacity makes a lot of sense. The way Samsung is marketing this is fairly weak, leaning on power savings at the rack level by being able to put more storage in each server.
Overall, this is an interesting drive, but we want to use one hands-on. Since, unlike other Samsung SSDs displayed, this did not have a model number, it feels like it is still a technology demonstration project. While 64TB-class drives are possible today, 256TB is another level. We know some folks will be excited to get so much more storage density while others will be worried about blast radius.
Hopefully, one day we get to see this in the lab.