Solidigm roadmap promises 61TB SSD

Solidigm presented a detailed look of its near-term SSD roadmap at the Tech Field Day 2022 event, and tucked away in the portfolio is a 61TB drive.

There are actually two drives on the way, both built with Solidigm’s fourth-generation 192-layer QLC (4bits/cell) 3D NAND, and called Essential Endurance and Value Endurance. The Essential Endurance variant has a 4KB block size and 3.84, 7.68, 15.36, and 30.72TB capacities, and a maximum 32PB written (PBW) endurance. The Value Endurance has a 16KB block size and capacities of 7.68, 15.36, 30.72, and 61.44TB with a doubled maximum endurance of about circa 65PBW.

Solidigm slide
Solidigm slides from TFD 2022

Solidigm said TLC (3bits/cell) NAND is used in about 80 percent of flash capacity shipping today, with QLC a probable replacement. The QLC Essential Endurance drive is positioned as a TLC (3bits/cell) replacement with lower 4K random write performance, whereas the QLC Value Endurance drive is a lower cost TLC replacement for read-heavy workloads. It is less ideal for smaller mixed read/write workloads.

The maximum capacities of 30.72 and 61.44TB are greater than the current highest disk drive capacity available today: 26TB with Western Digital’s shingled drive and 22TB with its conventional HDD.

The endurance numbers are 65PBW – which comes down to 35.6TB/day over five years. Solidigm slides said most drives used only 15 percent at most of their rated endurance:

Solidigm slide

TFD host Stephen Foskett tweeted: “This QLC 30TB drive could sustain 70 years of sequential video writes, as discussed by @Solidigm at #SFD24.”

The coming drive’s performance was given as up to 113,000 random write IOPS and 474 MB/sec throughput, but we don’t know what type of interconnect was used. A Solidigm slide said this was 6x faster than a competing but unidentified QLC SSD and 24 percent better than a competing TLC SSD. The latency number of 0.563ms is also 84 percent better than the competing QLC drive. 

However, compared to Solidigm’s existing D5-P5316 QLC SSD, with its 30.72TB maximum capacity, the performance is lackluster. The P5316 offers up to 800,000 random read IOPS, 7GB/sec sequential read and 3.6GB/sec sequential write bandwidth across a PCIe gen 4×4 NVMe interconnect.

Solidigm said these new drives would grow its market as a TLC SSD and disk drive replacement:

Solidigm slide

They will come in U.2 (2.5-inch), E1.S, E1.L and E3.S formats and we expect them to arrive in the first half of 2023.