Samsung, Western Digital join forces on next-gen SSD technology

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Samsung and Western Digital have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will see the two work together to further develop new SSD technology.

As part of the new MOU, both companies will collaborate to standardize and drive broad adoption of next-generation data placement, processing and fabrics (D2PF) storage technologies. However, Samsung and Western Digital will initially focus on creating an ecosystem for Zoned Storage solutions.

For those unfamiliar, Zoned Storage is a class of storage devices which enable both host and storage devices to cooperate in order to achieve higher storage capacities, increased throughput and lower latencies.

EVP and GM of Western Digital's Flash Business Unit, Rod Soderbery provided further details in a press release on how the new MOU will advance the Zoned Storage ecosystem, saying:

“In order for a technology ecosystem to be successful, overall frameworks and general solution models must come together so they do not suffer from fragmentation, which delays adoption and adds unnecessary complexity for software stack developers. For years Western Digital has been laying the foundation for the Zoned Storage ecosystem by contributing to the Linux kernel and open-source software community. We are excited to bring these contributions to this joint initiative with Samsung in facilitating wider adoption of Zoned Storage for users and application developers.”

Zoned Storage

In addition to being a win for the storage industry as a whole, the new MOU marks the first time that Samsung and Western Digital have come together to help advance important storage technologies.

The partnership will focus on enterprise and cloud applications with the goal of spurring a range of collaborations around technology standardization and software development for D2PF technologies like Zoned Storage. Through Samsung and Western Digital's partnership, end users can be confident that these emerging storage technologies will have support from multiple device vendors and vertically integrated hardware and software companies.

The two companies has already kickstarted an initiative based around Zoned Storage devices such as ZNS (Zoned Namespaces), SSDs and SMR (Shingled Magnetic Recording) HDDs. Samsung and Western Digital will also work with the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) and the Linux Foundation to define high-level models and frameworks for next-gen Zoned Storage technologies.

In an effort to enable open and scalable data center architectures, the two companies have founded the Zoned Storage TWG (Technical Work Group) which received approval by the SNIA in December of last year.

We'll likely hear more from Samsung and Western Digital on the future of Zoned Storage and other D2PF technologies once their partnership begins bearing fruit.

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