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Samsung's new 512GB SSD is smaller than a postage stamp

Written by David Lumb

Storage in your laptop or smartphone is a compromise between volume, access speed and physical size. But, the industry’s competition to shrink them while boosting their specifications is fierce. A few months after shipping a 16TB solid-state drive, Samsung has announced a fast, efficient 512GB SSD that’s half the size of a postage stamp.

Samsung’s press release claims that the drive is the first mass-produced 512GB SSD with non-volatile memory express (NVMe), a host-controller interface with a streamlined register for speed, in a single package. Unlike other hard drives in multi-chip packages (MCP), Samsung’s new drive is organized in a ball grid array into a collected unit, making it simpler to fit in and connect to other parts in the device. This makes the drive ideal for the ultra-slim notebook PC market, where space and weight are at a premium.

A senior Samsung VP said in a press release that the tiny drive triples the performance of a typical SATA SSD. Its read/write speeds of up to 1,500MB/s and 900MB/s, respectively, mean you could transfer a 5GB HD video in 3 seconds. Samsung will start selling the drive in June in 512GB, 256GB and 128GB models.

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David Lumb

20 Comments

  • Samsung is one of the few companies that is still innovating today. I hated them for dumbing down their phones recently to appeal to apple fans but would still support them and will upgrade yet again to the latest Samsung phone this year. I currently run Note 2.

  • You don’t buy ssd retail. Retail prices tend to hold. Earlier in the year you could get a 500gb EVO for 140$. And 1tb ones for 260$.

    The $ does go up with size but there are sweet spots, current sweet spot for most ssds is around 500gb.
  • Meanwhile, the evo prices have stagnated. I bought a 500gb msata evo for $150 on prime in October. Today it is…$169. Also the $/gb goes up with size. BS.

  • I just have no interest in the form factors that have replaceable drives anymore. While I agree with the sentiment, now that Ultrabooks are a thing, I can’t carry around the bigger devices anymore. I just back everything up in the cloud and the hardware becomes disposable (outside of cost, naturally, but that wasn’t your point).

  • I used to feel the same way and I still have a collection of old laptop drives that have survived long after the actual laptops died. Many of them are sitting inside of cases as I transformed them into portable USB backup drives.

    However, the fear of losing data isn’t really an issue any longer. Assuming someone has configured cloud storage for their vital files if the laptop dies – you just restore from the cloud. I also have a local hard drive which backs up my entire laptop, and a lot of people are using local wireless backup technologies like routers that have hard drives that continually backup all data on the devices.

    So to some degree, fears of data loss are easily remedied BEFORE anything can happen. And failures of SSDs are less common than failures of spindle drives so in theory they should be more robust overall. Perhaps it is time to just accept that integration and non-serviceable components is likely the future. It reduces costs and complexity so there is every reason to believe we won’t have much choice.

  • Then you’ll most likely have to come to terms with the fact that within a couple years you won’t be buying/using computers anymore.

    Removable drives add cost by needing more components. They add failure points, they require more build time, they add bulk and they add weight. There is almost no benefit to a replaceable drive for most portable devices.
    Storage failure is largely a thing of the past and these days only lazy or extremely stupid people end up losing data. There are a hundred ways to keep everything backed up 24/7 in multiple places at virtually no cost.
  • I can’t see myself ever buying a laptop without a replaceable drive. Just won’t happen.

    I will admit it has been many years since I have swapped out a laptop drive, but just about a year ago my wife’s laptop’s motherboard failed so I just removed the hdd and plugged it into my desktop to transfer her files off.
  • Two points:
    1. They’re already doing that. The move to Ultrabooks was the nail in that coffin for most people.
    2. The ball grid connection is, as far as I’m aware, not a soldered solution. So it’s just as swappable (in other words, minimally) as the other options in Ultrabooks.
  • I have a bad feeling that this is going to encourage laptop manufactures to start soldering these in vs using traditional user swappable SSDs or m.2 drives.

  • You mean like the MacBook, which has an Apple custom designed NVMe controller?

    Or how about the iPhone 6S, which also has an Apple NVMe controller? Only phone in the world with NVMe.
  • Since when does Apple develop and manufacture drives? Apple mostly always uses Samsung Components. So your comment is not even funny just a stupid troll comment…. as usual with trolls.

  • Meanwhile, I still cannot buy the 16TB monster promised months ago. Where are they shipping it? Not even DELL is offering it in any of their corporate blade configs.

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