Memory Card-sized Hard Drive Replacement

At a size smaller than a US postage stamp, Samsung’s new storage device may easily be mistaken for a memory card, but it’s actually a solid state drive (SSD)—as in storage that you can use instead of hard drive. And you can slip this one at the bottom of your motherboard (if you have the right type).

This tiny SSD, smaller than a postage stamp, can pack 512GB. Samsung Newsroom.

This is the first time an entire 512 GB SSD solution has been created in a single ball grid array (BGA) package. The amazingly tiny drive, called PM971-NVMe, measures only 20mm x 16mm and weighs lighter than a dime (it weighs just about a gram). Despite its small size, it boasts of 512 GB of memory at 2.5GB write speeds.

“Samsung’s new BGA NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) SSD triples the performance of a typical SATA SSD, in the smallest form factor available, with storage capacity reaching up to 512GB,” said Jung-bae Lee, senior vice president of the Memory Product Planning & Application Engineering Team at Samsung Electronics. “The introduction of this small-scale SSD will help global PC companies to make timely launches of slimmer, more stylish computing devices, while offering consumers a more satisfactory computing environment.”

The PM971-NVMe SSD combines 16 of Samsung’s 48-layer 256-gigabit V-NAND flash chips, a 20-nanometer 4Gb LPDDR4 mobile DRAM chip, and a high-performance Samsung controller—all squeezed into a single BGA package.

Little Gadgets Won’t Be So Limited Anymore

Samsung Newsroom

With this size, the limits on capacity packed within gadgets such as tablets and laptops are definitely going to change.

According to their press release: “The single-package SSD’s volume is approximately a hundredth of a 2.5” SSD or HDD, and its surface area is about a fifth of an M.2 SSD, allowing much more design flexibility for computing device manufacturers.”

And as far as storage evolution goes, we can very well expect this technology to improve—with bigger storage capacity soon.

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