In a few recent articles at Tom’s Hardware, Paul Alcorn has summarized the latest roadmap and product visions from Samsung, including an upcoming new form factor to replace the Intel M.2 connector and QLC (Quad Layer Cell) SSD that could reach 100 TB drives. Finally, Chris Ramseyer takes a look at the new Samsung 960 EVO and 960 Pro NVMe drives.

Some developments are clear: More data will be stacked in a smaller space, through 3D NAND, 16 bits QLC (Quad Layer Cell), and more dies stacked on top of each other. This will all result in lower prices per byte of storage. Obviously, it makes no sense to include a spinning disk in a laptop anymore, but the holy grail is the data center. There things are not so clear-cut. According to Alcorn’s article, Facebook is experimenting with QLC drives which could reach 100 TB. But there is of course no mention of price.

What’s interesting, is that the newer drives, which use the new NVMe based M.2 controller has reset the downwards price trend. In one of the slides, Samsung points out that SSD storage is now at 36 US cents per GB. However, the latest 960 series are almost double that, at 64 cents. (512 GB for $329; 1 TB for $629; 2 TB for $1299). In comparison, the Seagate Archive 8 TB drives cells for $249 now, is 1/20 of that, at 3 cents per GB.

In other words, Samsung has traded the 4x to 6x increase in read / write speed on the NVMe controllers for a doubling in SSD storage price. Now, Alcorn points out that there might be some margin to shave off there. Samsung has almost half the world market on both SSD drive and total SSD capacity shipments right now, but the competition is ramping up. That we will see lower prices per byte on SSD in the next year is a given.