Could Samsung launch the world's first Petabyte SSD within weeks? Korean press hints at seismic event that could get hard drive vendors worried

Samsung's Jung-Bae Lee speaking at Memory Tech Day 2023
(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung may be the first company to reach a dizzying milestone of launching a 1PB SSD, which would set new standards for memory in the industry.

Not only has the firm confirmed its plans to build a petabyte solid state drive (PBSSD), but Korea Economic Daily also reported the firm will be increasing memory density to “extreme levels” in the production process. 

“The 11-nanometer DRAM currently under development will achieve the industry’s highest level of memory density,” said Lee Jung-bae. President of Samsung’s Device Solutions Division. “In the coming era of below-10nm DRAM and 1,000-layer V-NAND, innovation in new structures and materials is crucial.”

PBSSDs are a matter of when, not if

Such a move would dramatically increase the storage capacity and speed, meaning PBSSDs can be suited for today’s most highly-intensive workloads, normally centering around generative AI.

The firm has long been trying to hit this milestone of an SSD that’s at least a million gigabytes in size, which would be ten times larger than the biggest SSDs out there, which includes the ExaDrive 100TB SSD

Last year, for example, Samsung issued a roadmap for SSD production starting with the ambition to create 1,000-layer NAND memory. And earlier this year, it said it wanted to launch a 1PB SSD within ten years. But there are suggestions this timescale is being dramatically slashed.

Samsung will continue to push its cutting-edge manufacturing processes to achieve increasingly higher storage density. In V-NAND, for example, it’s stacking more cells on circuit boards with lower heights while keeping interference between cells to a minimum. 

The publication reported a new memory type that can hit at least 1PB will be imminent, which would allow for much lower energy consumption than conventional drives. 

Samsung itself hinted that the world’s first petabyte-scale PBSSD is on the way at its Memory Tech Day event, which would help servers reduce energy usage and maximize rack capacity and space. We may see the firm hit this milestone in its roadmap much sooner than expected, given the momentum the company is currency enjoying. 

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Keumars Afifi-Sabet
Channel Editor (Technology), Live Science

Keumars Afifi-Sabet is the Technology Editor for Live Science. He has written for a variety of publications including ITPro, The Week Digital and ComputerActive. He has worked as a technology journalist for more than five years, having previously held the role of features editor with ITPro. In his previous role, he oversaw the commissioning and publishing of long form in areas including AI, cyber security, cloud computing and digital transformation.