Samsung’s faster, cheaper 4TB SSD enters mass production

The company's newest 4-bit QLC solid state drives promise better performance and efficiency than previous large-capacity drives.

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Ty Pendlebury is a journalism graduate of RMIT Melbourne, and has worked at CNET since 2006. He lives in New York City where he writes about streaming and home audio.
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Samsung has announced mass-production of 4TB consumer SSDs, aimed at improving storage for laptops and other devices. 

Samsung hasn't released official pricing for the in-production drives, but its 4TB 860 Evo is currently selling for over $1,000. By comparison, you can get a 4TB mechanical drive for $100. 

The new SSDs are the first to use 4-bit quad-level cell (QLC) technology and the 4TB version uses a total of 32 128GB chips. Performance is on a par with the older 850 Evo drives at a 540MB/s read speed and 520MB/s write.

Samsung says its new technology avoids the problem of memory cell increases from three bits to four, which would typically reduce efficiency by as much as 50 percent.

Samsung plans to introduce 1TB, 2TB and 4TB SSDs later in 2018 in the laptop-friendly 2.5-inch form factor.  The company will also offer M.2 NVMe SSDs for enterprise this year.

Samsung says it also hopes to use the technology to produce 128GB memory cards for smartphones.

Representatives for Samsung didn't immediately respond to CNET's request for a comment.