Samsung is the world's largest producer of NAND flash chips used in SSDs, but there is a very large fly in the ointment. DailyTech spoke with half a dozen companies in the SSD market that use Samsung's flash chips, and the results are troubling.
All of the companies we spoke with noted significant write speed issues with Samsung's 32nm flash. The problems are so bad that these SSD makers are unable to use them in their SSDs, which means that they have to source chips from other flash manufacturers like IM Flash Tech and Toshiba.
"Of course every transition to a new process has its problems," stated one source who requested anonymity. "We just weren't expecting it to be this slow".
32nm NAND produced by Toshiba was also initially slow and problematic. However, most of those write speed problems have been resolved. Some of those chips will make its way into drives like OCZ's Agility series.
Meanwhile, Intel and Micron are reaping huge sales from production of 34nm NAND from their IMFT joint venture. SSD prices from rivals like OCZ and Super Talent dropped significantly after Intel introduced their second generation X25-M SSD using those chips.
All is not lost for Samsung though. The company is hard at work finding a solution, and it is still trying to sell those chips in the embedded market. However, time is running out as productions deadlines to meet the Windows 7 launch and critical Christmas shopping season are both approaching.
A major hardware refresh cycle is coming soon, with new CPUs from Intel, cheap DDR3, DirectX 11 hardware, and a much improved operating system all coming together to tempt consumers. Making SSDs a part of a new build or upgrade may prove irresistible, regardless of the cost.
Update: Samsung has responded to this article, which is available here.