Along with announcing the new 2nd generation V-NAND based 950 Pro SSD, Samsung also detailed some of their plans for the rollout of drives based on their recently announced 48-layer 3rd generation V-NAND. The NAND, now in mass production, will begin showing up in drives in 2016.

Among the first uses of 256Gbit 3rd gen V-NAND will be to expand the capacity of Samsung’s current product lineups. The 850 lineup, which Samsung will continue to produce as their leading 2.5” SATA SSD, recently received a boost from 1TB to 2TB. Come next year, Samsung will be transitioning the 850 Pro lineup from 2nd gen to 3rd gen V-NAND, and in the process releasing a 4TB 850 Pro.

The release of a 4TB drive based around the new V-NAND was expected, but the fact that it’s under the 850 Pro lineup is a bit of a surprise. Citing the potential for consumer confusion and fragmentation, Samsung would prefer to release these drives under their existing and very popular 850 brand then to set out on a new brand for what’s ultimately going to be a dead end in consumer SSD technology. The switch to denser NAND is going to have a performance impact – such a thing is unavoidable – but it remains to be seen what that impact will be, especially given the limits of the SATA interface. To balance this out, Samsung says they will be providing more information on the drives themselves, which may be their new V-NAND branding program (more on that in a second).

Meanwhile the M.2 850 EVO, which currently tops out at 512GB, will be getting its own upgrade to 1TB via 3rd generation TLC V-NAND. Samsung has not announced any other EVO drives getting 3rd gen V-NAND at this time, though at this point it seems like a matter of when, not if.

Speaking of M.2, the newly announced 950 Pro will also get a capacity bump in 2016. A 1TB model will be released next year, utilizing the 256Gbit V-NAND MLC to double the capacity of the drive.

Samsung has also reiterated their development plans for enterprise V-NAND drives, though as usual they are being a bit less precise in discussing their plans. The PM1725, Samsung’s PCIe card SSD, will be utilizing 3rd gen V-NAND, combining 8 lanes to offer what is expected to be 1 million read IOPS.

As for Samsung’s existing Enterprise drives, the 863 datacenter drive family will also be getting the 3rd gen V-NAND upgrade. Though Samsung has not announced any specific capacities, we’d expect both of these drives to be doubled, increasing the PM863 to 7.68TB and the SM863 to 3.84TB.

Finally, as part of the launch of the 3rd generation V-NAND, Samsung will also start to use V-NAND visibly in their product branding. Consumer and enterprise retail drives will have a V-NAND logo, indicating what drives pack the technology and Samsung believe will help their drives stand apart from the competition. For Samsung this is also a reflection of the work they’ve put into developing what’s now three generations of 3D NAND, with that effort being made more obvious to buyers.

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  • jimmy$mitty - Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - link

    Probably. But at the same time Intel/Micron has their 3D NAND coming out next year as well and is supposed to offer up to 10TB SSDs so it will be interesting to see how it all plays out.
  • evilspoons - Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - link

    Quite curious about pricing on the 4 TB model, as well as whether they're going to offer any 42 mm M.2 cards (I have a Lenovo Thinkpad T450s with some empty M.2 slots, but they're the short kind).
  • Impulses - Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - link

    It's a Pro drive and the 2TB EVO is fetching $700+... So I'd expect it to be like $1,500 at launch, easily, unless they foresee a 2.5" drive price war or something.

    Chances are you'll be able to buy two 2TB EVOs for less and get better sequential transfers (specially if you have a PCI-E OS drive that can keep up in that regard).

    'Course you could pair two 4TB Pros too if that's how you roll.
  • Lolimaster - Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - link

    Considering the new density I would expect the 4TB drive @$999 with the 2TB Pro dropping to $549-599 and $299 for the 1TB.

    And this is only 32 --> 48layers, the next years we will see 64 --> 96--> 128layers. I think 3D V-Nand will reach a bottleneck at 192layers.
  • Lolimaster - Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - link

    If I had money to burn I would get:

    1TB 950Pro NVM for OS+games
    2x4TB "950 EVO" for data
    Future 10TB HAMR HDD
  • Impulses - Saturday, July 9, 2016 - link

    Looks like my bet was on point, 4TB EVO (not even the Pro) is now up for pre orders right at $1,500. Until they have more competition they can milk the market all they want, EVO prices have barely budged in a year (outside of sales).
  • cyrand - Wednesday, September 23, 2015 - link

    Do Samsung have any plans to release 950 Pro in 2.5 form factors connected by u.2. Similar to the intel 750?
  • Billy Tallis - Wednesday, September 23, 2015 - link

    Not that we've heard. There's not much point to U.2 in the consumer segment unless you need the extra volume of a 2.5" form factor for heat dissipation or more flash, and Samsung isn't feeling too constrained by either.
  • mapesdhs - Friday, September 25, 2015 - link

    The lesser 850 EVOs have been dropping a fair bit in the UK. The 256GB is down to 71 UKP, the 500GB now at 122 UKP. Funny part is, I see people on eBay paying more for used SSDs at these capacities. My gf calls this the "Argos Effect", ie. an assumption eBay must be cheaper because it's ebay (they don't check new pricing before bidding).

    The 850 Pro has been dropping aswell, though I recently managed to win a new 512GB for 145 which was good.
  • Budburnicus - Friday, March 11, 2016 - link

    I bought a 500 GB 850 EVO last week for just $110! And finally after YEARS on this crappy RAID of 4x (ancient) Seagate Barracuda 16MB cache 7200 RPM drives will FINALLY be replaced by a much more elegant solution that is WORLDS faster!

    Oh, and I also got a new Seagate Constellation ES.3 drive to replace my even more ancient 1 TB Barracuda data drive!

    Woooo hoooo! Once I get through all the Re-loading BS I cannot WAIT to see how fast my rig moves!

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