Western Digital has now designed a suitable SSD for optimal use of flash memory. By outsourcing part of the SSD controller’s tasks, the flash memory can be used much better. WD has thus developed a new generation of flash memory.
First test samples are out!
The new SSD has been named Western Digital Ultrastar DC ZN540 and first samples have already been sent out for testing. The SSD is not intended to be used as a replacement for a hard disk, as is normally the case, but works together with the flash zones. These flash zones are so-called Zoned Namespaces or ZNS. The access to the SSD is done via Shingled Magnetic Recordings (SMR), just like with hard disks. Here, the drive only provides the memory and the storage software takes care of “how to store”. The new SSD has a vertically integrated, high-availability NVMe controller with two ports and a capacity of up to 8 TB. All this in a standard U.2 form factor.
Zoned Namespaces were created through an initiative of the manufacturer Western Digital. WD simply invited people to participate in the new standard via a website (zonedstorage.io). The only requirement for ZNS is access via NVMe, which already includes ZNS. With the new ZNS standard, the user gets better utilization of the NAND flash and also higher performance. This in turn leads to a higher endurance because the controller no longer has to worry about the flash heating up. The new CNS SSDs are not intended for use in a desktop computer. The manufacturer had data centers in mind during development. With the new open standard, storage capacities in the ZByte range should be possible in the future. The prices and also the availability are unfortunately not yet known, as the test samples of the new SSD have now been sent out.