Image: Samsung

The Samsung 2nd Gen SmartSSD is able to process data directly thus reducing CPU utilization, queries, and energy consumption. Samsung and AMD began a partnership in 2020 to develop SmartSSD technology and the 1st gen won an Innovation Awards Honoree at CES 2021. The Samsung 2nd Gen SmartSSD is capable of reducing CPU utilization by up to 97%, and energy consumption by up to 70%, compared to conventional data center SSDs. Query times were seen to be cut in half using the new drives as well. Presently Samsung is aiming for commercial sector data centers, video transcoding applications, machine learning, and 5G/6G markets where speed and power efficiency play crucial roles.

Image: Samsung

Press Release

The new proprietary computational storage incorporates data processing functionality within a high-performance SSD. Unlike existing SSDs, Samsung’s SmartSSD can process data directly, thereby minimizing data transfers between the CPU, GPU and RAM. This technology can avoid the bottlenecks that often occur when moving data between storage devices and CPUs, resulting in markedly improved system performance and much higher energy efficiency.

The SmartSSD is playing an increasingly important role, especially with the growth of next-generation technologies such as AI, machine learning and 5G/6G, which require large amounts of data processing.

Leveraging software and intellectual property (IP) developed by customers, along with in-built Arm cores, Samsung’s second-generation SmartSSD enables much more efficient data processing. Compared to conventional data center solid-state drives, processing time for scan-heavy database queries can be slashed by over 50%, energy consumption by up to 70% and CPU utilization by up to 97%.

Since its development in 2020 through the joint efforts of Samsung and AMD, the first-generation SmartSSD is being supplied to global IT companies including video communications platform providers. The first-generation SmartSSD was recognized as an Innovation Awards Honoree at CES 2021 for its outstanding performance and energy efficiency.

“Commercialization of the first-generation SmartSSD, in collaboration with AMD, established that the computational storage market has great potential,” said Jin-Hyeok Choi, Executive Vice President and Head of Memory Solution Product & Development at Samsung Electronics. “With the upgraded processing functionality of the second-generation SmartSSD, Samsung will be able to easily address increasing customer needs in the database and video transcoding sectors, as we expand the boundaries of the next-generation storage market.”

“Powered by Xilinx Versal™ Adaptive SoCs from AMD, second-generation Samsung SmartSSDs enable improved CPU efficiency and greatly reduced energy consumption by efficiently integrating the computing and storage functions in data centers,” said Sina Soltani, Corporate Vice President of Sales, AECG, Data Center and Communication Group at AMD. “As data-intensive applications continue to grow, second-generation Samsung SmartSSDs will deliver the superior performance and efficiency required for this expanding market.”

Samsung Electronics is leading efforts to standardize SmartSSD technology through close collaboration with the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) and with NVM Express, while seeking to expand the boundaries of SmartSSD devices through technological validation for a wide variety of applications.

Source: Samsung

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Peter Brosdahl

As a child of the 70’s I was part of the many who became enthralled by the video arcade invasion of the 1980’s. Saving money from various odd jobs I purchased my first computer from a friend of my...

6 comments

  1. Hmm. I love misleading headlines.

    How much does a CPU spend on actual computation from data retrieval? 97% of a small number is ... still not a big number, but I guess 97% looks sexier.

    If the drive itself is actually capable of performing basic database tasks - then I can see that, but I wonder what kind of driver it needs to do so, and what kind of support that would have. Would be less useful if it only works for one or two specific DBs on specific OSes. Also no mention of capacities, and being SSDs made for database oriented activities - overprovisioning and longevity in heavy write environments would be another thing that is missing from the article.

    Wonder how many streamers are gonna see that and think it'll make Battlefield play 97% faster.
  2. Hmm. I love misleading headlines.

    How much does a CPU spend on actual computation from data retrieval? 97% of a small number is ... still not a big number, but I guess 97% looks sexier.

    If the drive itself is actually capable of performing basic database tasks - then I can see that, but I wonder what kind of driver it needs to do so, and what kind of support that would have. Would be less useful if it only works for one or two specific DBs on specific OSes. Also no mention of capacities, and being SSDs made for database oriented activities - overprovisioning and longevity in heavy write environments would be another thing that is missing from the article.

    Wonder how many streamers are gonna see that and think it'll make Battlefield play 97% faster.
    I apologize as I simply restated what they had listed but I do get your point. Did they mean total utilization, perhaps a percentage of the utilization when a request to drive was made, and other possible scenarios? Another scenario I've seen with NVMe drives, gen3 and gen4, is that larger data transfers do trigger CPU spikes while they are happening. I've seen this with AMD and Intel setups. Does this help mitigate that? They, unfortunately, did not provide any data sets in the PR piece and I copied most of it into the article so what you see there is mostly are there is.

    I doubt this would help much with gaming except for those titles that are CPU intensive, to begin with.

    It is interesting though, to see Samsung and AMD pursuing this, and would be even more interesting if it makes it to the consumer market with significant performance gains.
  3. In dealing with small fast data queries letting the storage handle things is like having a good hba card. It handles the computational side of the storage requests and streamlines data feeds.

    Risks i see.
    1. What happens with multiple nvme drives like this. Does 1 become the master device and others answer its queries, or does each drive answer independently.
    2. Would the benefit of these drives extend to raid setups? Doe you need a special controller or logic go gain the benefit?
  4. In dealing with small fast data queries letting the storage handle things is like having a good hba card. It handles the computational side of the storage requests and streamlines data feeds.

    Risks i see.
    1. What happens with multiple nvme drives like this. Does 1 become the master device and others answer its queries, or does each drive answer independently.
    2. Would the benefit of these drives extend to raid setups? Doe you need a special controller or logic go gain the benefit?
    So, you're saying we need a hardware-accelerated DBMS to keep track of which drive(s) to query for a specific piece of data?

    :cool:
  5. I apologize as I simply restated what they had listed but I do get your point.
    Not entirely a dig at this site - just in general. I know you generally just repeat whatever the source material was.

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