For the photographer who has (shoots) everything, somewhere to put it: 15TB in your pocket coming from Samsung

by Gannon Burgett

posted Thursday, August 13, 2015 at 2:22 PM EDT

In its ongoing mission to push the limits of storage capacity, Samsung has announced it’s developed the PM1633a, a 15.36TB SSD said to be the world’s highest-capacity solid state drive.

Samsung says the secret to cramming so much capacity in such a small package is its new 256Gbit (32GB) NAND flash die, which is twice the capacity of most chip makers currently, a la Moore’s Law. As Ars Technica points out, ‘to reach such an astonishing density, Samsung has managed to cram 48 layers of 3-bits-per-cell (TLC) 3D V-NAND into a single die’.

Individually, this particular achievement from Samsung doesn’t mean much to the photography world, but it takes another stride towards an ever-decreasing gap where solid state storage is becoming almost as feasible to use for archival purposes as conventional hard disk drives.

Capacities are becoming larger, prices are coming down and it won’t be too far off before we trade the more vulnerable spinning disks for solid state storage for backup storage.

For a little context of just how large 15TB of storage is, here are just a few numbers as to what you could store on Samsung’s new SSD:

  • 305,000 RAW files from Canon’s 50-megapixel 5DS with.
  • 51 hours of 4K ProRes UHD footage from Black Magic’s 4K Production Camera.
  • 15.2 days of 4K footage from Panasonic’s LUMIX GH4

It’ll be interesting to see just how long it takes for this technology to make it to market and hit an affordable price point.