SAMSUNG HAS been showing off what it believes is the answer to the question of how to squeeze even more out of smartphone and tablet form factors. And with blazing speeds of 1500MBps it's hard to argue.
The company has been showing off its first Ball Grid Array (BGA) SSD chip, the PM971, at the Samsung SSD Forum in Japan. Most SSDs are Pin Grid Array, but BGA uses balls of solder to permanently attach to circuit boards, which increases the density of connections in a single chip.
The results are far-reaching. More and faster storage explains itself, but the form factor of BGA is so tiny that it can leave room in the phone shell for a bigger battery or extra components. Intel is already working with BGA for chipsets.
To put it in perspective, the PM971 is smaller than an SD card. Full details are a bit sketchy, as this is a case of Samsung showing off what it can do, rather than what it's willing to share with us.
What we do know (via PC Watch, but it's in Japanese so don't bother clicking) is that the form factor is smaller than M.2, and that it runs on Samsung's new Photon controller and MLC V-NAND Flash memory.
Samsung is planning three versions - 128GB, 256GB and 512GB - which sets a new benchmark for top-end phones, tablets and hybrids. As well as the sequential read speed of 1500MBps the PM971 can offer sequential writes at a whopping 600MBps.
This translates as 190K random read IOPS and 150K random write IOPS.
It's not clear from the information given, but educated guesswork suggests that it runs a PCIe 3.0 interface.
There are currently plans for a standard to cover M.2 SSDs and it's not known whether this technology complies with that, or whether it's so bleeding edge that it defies it.
The PM971 was among a series of new developments shown at the SSD Forum, including a 4TB laptop drive, suggesting that the stagnation in storage is finally coming to an end. µ
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