Samsung Announces 512GB NVMe SSD That's Smaller Than a Stamp
Samsung today announced that mass production has begun on a new NVMe PCIe solid state drive in a ball grid array package, the first of its kind to be available in large quantities. The SSD, called the PM971-NVMe, is tiny, merging all SSD components into a package that's smaller than a standard U.S. postage stamp.
Designed for next-generation PCs and ultra-slim notebooks, the PM971-NVMe measures in at 20mm x 16mm x 1.5mm and weighs approximately a gram. Its volume is about a hundredth of a 2.5-inch SSD or HDD, and it offers performance able to surpass a SATA 6Gb/s interface with sequential read/write speeds of up to 1500MB/s and 900MB/s, respectively.
According to Samsung, it takes 3 seconds to transfer a 5GB-equivalent full-HD movie and is up to 1500 times faster than a standard hard drive when it comes to random read/write input output operations per second (190K and 150K, respectively). Samsung plans to offer the SSD in 128, 256, and 512GB configurations.
"Samsung's new BGA NVMe SSD triples the performance of a typical SATA SSD, in the smallest form factor available, with storage capacity reaching up to 512GB," said Jung-bae Lee, senior vice president, Memory Product Planning & Application Engineering Team, Samsung Electronics. "The introduction of this small-scale SSD will help global PC companies to make timely launches of slimmer, more stylish computing devices, while offering consumers a more satisfactory computing environment."
Apple has used Samsung SSDs in its Mac machines in the past, and it stands to reason that the company could adopt Samsung's newest technology in the future. There's no guarantee that will happen, but Apple often likes to include cutting-edge technology in its products.
Apple has been using a faster NVM Express interface for the SSDs of its most recent machines, starting with the 12-inch Retina MacBook. Intel is also developing next-generation 3D Xpoint SSD technology that's set to launch in 2016 in its forthcoming Optane solid state drives, another hardware option that may be of interest to Apple.