Is the BM9C1 Samsung's first 16TB high capacity, QLC SSD for PC or the new 880 QVO? Fleeting mention in press release sparks rumor about successor to 'cheapest' large-capacity SSD

 Samsung 870 QVO SSD.
Samsung 870 QVO SSD.

Samsung unveiled a slew of memory products and technologies this week that caught TechRadar Pro’s eye, ranging from the new HBME3 Shinebolt memory technology to the possibility of a petabyte SSD (PBSSD). But it’s the throwaway reference to a BM9C1 SSD that’s among the most compelling.

Described as a high-capacity quad-level cell (QLC) SSD, the BM9C1 unit may well be an expansion in Samsung’s QLC SSD series of QVO SSDs.

The latest edition is the 870 QVO SATA 2.5-inch SSD, which is known to be among the cheapest high-capacity SSDs. The largest capacity currently in production is 8TB and retails for $330 right now on Amazon.  The BM9C1 may be a device that extends the maximum storage capacity from 8TB to 16TB, for instance, or it can be a successor to this device in the form of the long-awaited 880 QVO, which hasn’t yet been announced formally.

Should we expect a Samsung 880 QVO SSD?

QLC SSDs are optimized to have as high a capacity as possible and deliver a dollar-per-TB value that can rival the best hard drives, or even prove to be cheaper than them. They store four bits per cell, which delivers NVMe performance in higher capacities.

The 2TB Samsung 870 QVO, for example, reached speeds of 561MBps reads and 530MBps writes when tested. It’s no slouch but is roughly half the speeds of the fastest SSDs currently available on the market.

Samsung’s reference to a new QLC SSD in the form of the BM9C1 chimes with global import data from Volza, which suggests this model is being shipped around the world right now, especially South Korea and India.

These 1TB units are being shipped for R&D evaluation – not for sale – meaning this is a technology currently being worked on and it remains to be seen when they’ll enter mainstream production.

The latest model, the 870 QVO, was launched in June 2020, with its predecessor, the 860 QVO SSD launching in 2018. This means Samsung is overdue an upgrade in this line of SSDs, and it may well have hinted that one is on its way.

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