Samsung Electronics has begun mass producing the industry's first 4-bit (QLC, quad-level cell) 4-terabyte (TB) SATA solid-state drive (SSD) for consumers.
Based on 1-terabit (Tb) V-NAND with performance equivalent to the company's 3-bit design, Samsung's QLC SSD is expected to bring a new level of efficiency to consumer SSDs, Samsung said. With its new 1Tb 4-bit V-NAND chip, Samsung will be able to efficiently produce a 128GB memory card for smartphones that will lead the charge toward higher capacities for high-performance memory storage.
Typically, as data stored within a memory cell increases from three bits to four, the chip capacity per unit area would rise and the electrical charge (used to determine information from a sensor) would decrease by as much as 50% making it considerably more difficult to maintain a device's desired performance and speed. However, Samsung said its 4-bit 4TB QLC SATA SSD maintains its performance levels at the same level as a 3-bit SSD, by using a 3-bit SSD controller and TurboWrite technology, while increasing drive capacity through the use of 32 chips, all based on 64-layer fourth-generation 1Tb V-NAND.
The 4-bit QLC SSD enables a sequential read speed of 540 MB/s and a sequential write speed of 520 MB/s, and comes with a three-year warranty.
Samsung plans to introduce several 4-bit consumer SSDs later in 2018 with 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB capacities in the widely used 2.5-inch form factor.