Advanced memory technology vendor Samsung has begun mass producing its most advanced line of data center SSDs, the PM9A3 E1.S. The new data center SSD, PM9A3, fully complies with the Open Compute Project (OCP) NVMe Cloud SSD Specification. It means the data center SSD is able to satisfy the rigorous demands of hyperscale and enterprise workloads.

“Wider 5G deployment and accelerating growth in IoT devices are fueling a hyperconnected lifestyle, driving the demand for more sophisticated hyperscale data centers,” said Cheolmin Park, Vice President of Memory Product Planning at Samsung Electronics. “Providing an optimal mix of performance, power, reliability and firmware, we believe our new PM9A3 will help advance today’s data center storage technologies and expand the market for OCP-compliant SSDs.”

Built with Samsung’s sixth-generation (1xx-layer) V-NAND, the PM9A3 would significantly improve performance over the fifth-generation V-NAND-based PM983a (M.2). According to Samsung, it comes with “double the sequential write speed at 3000MB/s, a “40% higher random read speed of 750K IOPS and 150% higher random writes at 160K IOPS.”

Power features are critical to maximizing the efficiency of data center operations. The PM9A3 would provide “superior” power efficiency at 283MB/s per watt for sequential writes. According to Samsung, it would make it nearly “50% more energy efficient” than the previous generation’s 188MB/s per watt. In fact, replacing all server hard disk drives (HDDs) launched in 2020 with the PM9A3 4TB drive would save 1,484 gigawatt hours (GWh) of energy, which is enough electricity to power all households in a major metropolitan city during a summer month.

The PM9A3 also comes in nine power levels to suit a diverse range of SSD form factors and interfaces – from 8.25 watts for the M.2 form factor to 35W for newer form factors such as EDSFF.

Data Protection

“Innovations such as the OCP NVMe Cloud SSD and E1.S are important to solving today’s data center challenges,” said Ross Stenfort, Hardware Storage Engineer at Facebook. “The OCP NVMe Cloud SSD Specification defines hyperscale SSD requirements, enabling SSD makers to provide leading-edge products that meet the challenging demands of hyperscale environments. Deploying storage at scale is very challenging and Samsung’s support for next-generation industry-leading technologies such as the OCP NVMe Cloud SSD and EDSFF E1.S is a great step forward.”

In addition to standard security features such as user data encryption and authentication, the new data center SSD is equipped with secure boot and anti-rollback mechanisms to ensure robust data protection. Secure boot adds another layer of protection against unauthorized firmware being used, while anti-rollback prevents the drive from rolling back or downgrading to an older flawed version of the firmware.

Samsung says it will continue to work closely with its data center partners to standardize advanced storage technologies, and facilitate the development of more cutting-edge memory solutions.

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