Tech giant Samsung has encroached upon Intel Optane's territory with its newly announced Z-SSD, and the first model weighs in at a hefty 800GB, though there will also be a 240GB version available. The new drive bears a model number of SZ985. The premium SSD takes up a single expansion slot, normally reserved for things like graphics cards, and offers vastly higher speed and reliability compared to a normal SSD. To put it into numbers, Samsung claims that this SSD is good for 30 drive writes per day for about 5 years, around 42 petabytes of data movement. The mean time between failures, in Samsung's own testing, works out to roughly 2 million hours. The new Z-SSD will be officially shown off at this year's International Solid-State Circuits Conference, which will descend upon San Francisco in the middle of February.
When it comes to speed, the new Z-SSD blows competitors away thanks to its new Z-NAND onboard storage chips. These chips boast up to ten times the performance of the normal 3-bit V-cells that today's most popular consumer-facing SSD solutions use. On top of that, the SSD has a dedicated high-performance controller, along with 1.5GB of LPDDR4 DRAM, ensuring that only the absolute largest workloads will make this SSD even begin to approach its full read and write capacity. Write latency sits at 16 microseconds, random read speed tops out at 750,000 input/output operations per second, and random write speed can go up to 170,000 IOPS.
Samsung built this SSD for large-scale AI and big data operations. Its performance is leaps and bounds ahead of even the most powerful normal SSDs out there, and the massive storage available in a single slot gives users over a terabyte of addressable storage just by using two in tandem, and many high-end specialty and server rigs can accept even more. Throwing an SSD like this into an average computer, however, is not entirely wise; this is not because it will cause damage per se, or because the computer won't recognize it, but because the I/O speeds supported in the computer's processor may not match up to the full capabilities of this SSD, thereby crippling it. Price was not announced, but that's bound to also be a prohibiting factor.