Samsung Starts Mass Producing 4-Bit Consumer SSDs

Samsung's new 4TB SSD

'As we expand our line-up across consumer segments and to the enterprise, 4-bit terabyte-SSD products will rapidly spread throughout the entire market.

Nearly all storage manufacturers are pushing higher in capacity, with Seagate unleashing a line of Barracuda SSDs earlier this year using 3-bit QLC chips.

The 4TB drive will use just 32 of its fourth-generation, 64-layer 1-terabit V-NAND chips, Samsung said.

The new consumer QLC SSDs follow Samsung's launch of its 970 PRO and EVO M.2 form factor SSD sticks available in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB earlier in May.

Storing more bits per cell in QLC drives inevitably means lower performance and endurance when compared to TLC, but Samsung claims it has managed to maintain the performance level of existing TLC drives.

The Korean giant has announced that it is now mass producing the industry's first 4-bit QLC (quad-level cell) SSDs for consumers, which may lead to cheaper high-capacity drives.

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The company says that when data stored within a memory cell is bumped up from three bits to four, maintaining optimum performance and speed becomes "considerably more hard".

But Sammy is touting read speeds of 540MB/s with sequential write speeds of 520MB/s, though more randomised data in-out speeds weren't mentioned. Plus, each of the drives will come with three year warranties.

The hope is that this jump to QLC will bring prices down thanks to more efficient production, thereby making terabyte-sized SSDs accessible to more consumers.

According to Jaesoo Han, the EVP of memory sales at Samsung Electronics, "Samsung's new 4-bit SATA SSD will herald a massive move to terabyte-SSDs for consumers".

The Samsung 4TB 850 EVO SSD is now listed on Amazon.co.uk with a £1,399.99 retail price (albeit discounted to £999.99 at present).

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