Samsung unveils 512GB postage stamp-size NVMe SSD, could see use in MacBook

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 2016
Samsung on Tuesday announced production has started for its new PM971-NVMe, a solid state drive that crams non-volatile memory express technology, onboard NAND flash memory, DRAM and an SSD controller into a package slightly larger than a postage stamp.




Designed for thin-and-light laptops and other space constrained applications, the PM971-NVMe incorporates 18 separate chips in a single ball grid array package with a volume that is about a hundredth of a standard 2.5-inch SSD card, and one-fifth the surface area. The package combines 16 48-layer 256-gigabit V-NAND flash chips, a 20-nanometer 4Gb LPDDR4 DRAM chip and an in-house controller.

"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," said Jung-bae Lee, Samsung's senior vice president of Memory Product Planning and Application Engineering Team.

According to Samsung, the new SSD's NVMe interface surpasses transfer speeds supported by the current generation SATA 6GB/s protocol. Sequential read and write speeds reach up to a respective 1,500 megabytes per second and 900MB/s using Samsung's TurboWrite technology. As an example, the PM971-NVMe can transfer a 5GB movie file in about three seconds, or download it in six seconds.

The PM971-NVMe SSD will be produced in 512GB, 256GB and 128GB capacities, and is expected to ship out this month. Samsung did not specify OEMs that might be interested in purchasing the new SSD module, but Apple with its penchant for thin-and-light laptop designs is likely on the short list. Aside from iOS device components, Apple looks to Samsung for a variety of Mac parts, including current issue SSDs. For example, Apple quietly upgraded the original Toshiba SSD modules in its MacBook Air lineup to Samsung units in 2011, a switch that ultimately trickled down to other MacBook lines.

Recent rumors suggest Apple is planning to introduce thinner and lighter 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro models in late 2016, a product line lauded for its performance capabilities. While speculation points to parts crossover from the 12-inch Retina MacBook, like butterfly key mechanisms, it is possible that the company plans to include Samsung's speedy, and diminutive, storage chip in the new design.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,827member
    Nice!    

    It won't be too long and you will be able to plug your cell phone into a full size monitor and have an instant Mac Experience.  All we really need is for Apple to,see the wisdom in such devices. 
    LPmagoocoolfactorrepressthisstanthemanSpamSandwichicoco3jony0
  • Reply 2 of 20
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,486member
    wizard69 said:
    Nice!    

    It won't be too long and you will be able to plug your cell phone into a full size monitor and have an instant Mac Experience.  All we really need is for Apple to,see the wisdom in such devices. 

    Skip the full-size monitor and just have a cerebral interface.  :D
  • Reply 3 of 20
    I don't think this would apply to Apple. They make their own custom NVMe controller so I think they'd be more interested in the raw NAND chips, not this solution.
    jony0
  • Reply 4 of 20
    bobschlobbobschlob Posts: 1,074member
    I don't think this would apply to Apple. They make their own custom NVMe controller so I think they'd be more interested in the raw NAND chips, not this solution.
    They used to make their own custom CPU (with a partner) as well; until it no longer suited them to do so, and they changed to a solution that they felt was better for them.
  • Reply 5 of 20
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,100member
    Didn't the A9 move to NVMe?
    Could we see this in the next iPadPro's?
    jkichline
  • Reply 6 of 20
    slprescottslprescott Posts: 752member
    How does a Solid State Drive compare to other types of memory? I know that it's not spinning (hence the name "Solid State"), but the name "drive" implies some similarity to a traditional disk that I don't understand.
  • Reply 7 of 20
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,191member
    wizard69 said:
    Nice!    

    It won't be too long and you will be able to plug your cell phone into a full size monitor and have an instant Mac Experience.  All we really need is for Apple to,see the wisdom in such devices. 
    Sure would be nice to have a 1TB postage stamp sized HD.
  • Reply 8 of 20
    wozwozwozwoz Posts: 232member
    Somebody should tell the guy from the Matrix film ... he can get one of these instead of blowing up his brain and blood coming out of his nose, just to smuggle some data in his head.
    repressthis
  • Reply 9 of 20
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,281member
    Two of these would be great.. Four?
    I'd like a 2TB laptop.
  • Reply 10 of 20
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Could Samsung put this in the S8?
    singularity
  • Reply 11 of 20
    singularitysingularity Posts: 1,329member
    wozwoz said:
    Somebody should tell the guy from the Matrix film ... he can get one of these instead of blowing up his brain and blood coming out of his nose, just to smuggle some data in his head.
    Wasn't that Johnny mnemonic?
  • Reply 12 of 20
    jdiamondjdiamond Posts: 66member
    While I love the technology, I sure hope Apple doesn't move to this form factor, because absolutely the #1 feature I need in new Macbooks is MORE hard drive space, not less.  And you all know Apple - given the opportunity to fit MORE hard drive into less space and weight, and simply saving weight, they'll just cut the hard drive space.

    Now on an iPad, this would be awesome, because there, 512GB would be a step up.

    Of course, this is all kind of moot really, because Apple uses the bare chips anyway, so they don't really care about the packaging.


  • Reply 13 of 20
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    wozwoz said:
    Somebody should tell the guy from the Matrix film ... he can get one of these instead of blowing up his brain and blood coming out of his nose, just to smuggle some data in his head.
    Wasn't that Johnny mnemonic?
    Yes, and that was a film adaptation of WIlliam Gibson's story by the same name which was included in Burning Chrome.
    singularity
  • Reply 14 of 20
    mytdavemytdave Posts: 437member
    Here we go. This is cool, but an excuse to solder storage onto the motherboard. Just attach the chip to a daughter card that the user can upgrade, and then this is very, very cool.
  • Reply 15 of 20
    cwingravcwingrav Posts: 78member
    How does a Solid State Drive compare to other types of memory? I know that it's not spinning (hence the name "Solid State"), but the name "drive" implies some similarity to a traditional disk that I don't understand.
    'Drive' is a hold-over from the disk drive days I believe. These days, 'drive' just lets you know it is for secondary storage like a hard drive typically is. Basically, you have on-CPU memory (VERY small, VERY fast), computer memory (4-16GB is typical and fast) and a 'drive', hard or SSD, (large and slow). Additionally, on-CPU and computer memory both disappear without power (i.e. volatile memory) while 'drives' maintain that data without power. (NOTE: I am skipping cache for simplicity). While recent technologies may disrupt this three tiered memory structure of current computers (which has held for decades), this is the type of memory people typically refer to in computers. Additionally, it should be mentioned that SSD memory has no moving parts which makes it more resistant to breakage which is why it's in most mobile electronics (phones, music players, etc).
  • Reply 16 of 20
    mykemmykem Posts: 25member
    The R/W speed of this chip  is too slow for the rMBP especially the 15" which already R/W sequentially at 1.5 GB/s (although the current rMBP is still using AHCI instead of the newer, lower latency NVMe). Plus I don't think space is as much premium on the bigger chassis of the 15"/13" than it is on the 12" rMB.

    At the same time, Apple loves the process of miniaturization and if you look at the logic board on the 11" MBA and compare to what Apple has done with the 12" rMB, it's astounding how much smaller the new one is. But speed is still paramount to Apple (or else why would it be the first to incorporate PCIe/NVMe in a smartphone).


  • Reply 17 of 20
    But is there a 16 gig version that Apple can stick in their 2017 ipads?
    cnocbui
  • Reply 18 of 20
    rezwitsrezwits Posts: 614member
    This is ridiculous, that's why it's getting to be just like buy whatever you want when you can because if think you can wait for this or wait for that, you'll be waiting for this or that. I mean we can wait for say a MacBook Pro, but what are you going to say now, that you would wait for this to be include, and then right before you buy one that has this chip, a new video card, or CPU, comes out? Now what wait for that? VICIOUS CYCLE, by what you need when you need it. Products are flying out the window left and right, no one can keep up, no one... :D
  • Reply 19 of 20
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,100member
    mykem said:
    The R/W speed of this chip  is too slow for the rMBP especially the 15" which already R/W sequentially at 1.5 GB/s (although the current rMBP is still using AHCI instead of the newer, lower latency NVMe). Plus I don't think space is as much premium on the bigger chassis of the 15"/13" than it is on the 12" rMB.

    At the same time, Apple loves the process of miniaturization and if you look at the logic board on the 11" MBA and compare to what Apple has done with the 12" rMB, it's astounding how much smaller the new one is. But speed is still paramount to Apple (or else why would it be the first to incorporate PCIe/NVMe in a smartphone).


    Couldn't they run two or four of these chips on the same M.2 card and give each chip dedicated PCIe lanes to get a higher speed?
    Less parts, smaller and maybe still faster and standardised. They'd need at least two to match 1Tb of current capacity.

  • Reply 20 of 20
    VisualSeedVisualSeed Posts: 217member
    wizard69 said:
    Nice!    

    It won't be too long and you will be able to plug your cell phone into a full size monitor and have an instant Mac Experience.  All we really need is for Apple to,see the wisdom in such devices. 

    Skip the full-size monitor and just have a cerebral interface.  :D
    Screw all that I just want something that does all my work and puts money in my bank account while I sit at the bar all day
Sign In or Register to comment.