Techfrag managed to snap a photo of the drive, and as you can see, it’s not what you’d call a standard form factor. If you’re hoping to see this kind of capacity come to consumer drives in the near future, well, don’t get your hopes up. While it’s true that SSD cost per GB and total number of GB per drive have been on the decrease and increase respectively, the fact that Samsung packed 500-600 NAND chips into this thing speaks to the limitations of consumer drive scaling.
Consumer drives will continue to improve, but at significantly slower rates. Given that Samsung’s current 48-layer 3D NAND can deliver 256Gb, it’s reasonable to assume we’ll see 96 layer chips roll out in the next few years, with a corresponding improvement to SSD density. How long that train can roll is a matter of some debate in technical circles. Samsung claims that it can stack up to 100 layers with current V-NAND technology, but as we’ve previously covered, it gets harder to stack the layers the more layers there are. Doubling up to 96 would give Samsung 512Gb chips, and doubling again would push that to a full 1024Tb per chip. At 128GB per IC, high-end multi-terabyte SSDs would drop from thousands of dollars into territory the average consumer can afford. Whether or not we manage to squeeze that much capacity out of NAND before another memory technology either becomes viable (ReRAM, PCM, Intel’s 3D XPoint) or simply can’t stack dies that high, well, that’s another area where there’s much debate.