QLC SSD finally comes out: Is it a terrible thing?

Source:   Editor: Jessie Update Time :2018-12-10

As people are focusing on the joy of SSD prices decline, the QLC SSD which is resisted by consumer unconsciously appears. Major storage providers begin to launch their consumer QLC SSD recently, such as Crucial P1 SSD, Intel 600P SSD and 860 QVO released by Samsung lately. Is the strong trend means that QLC SSD is going to be a mainstream with an irresistible force?

    With the development of solid state disk, flash particles has updated four times which begin with SLC, then MLC and TLC in recent years, finally QLC. 

    The arrival of QLC is similar to TLC SSD, which is resisted by consumer either at first. TLC SSD came out when there were SLC SSD and MLC SSD everywhere after all, which had many flaws including fewer erase number, lower speed than MLC and uncertainty of whether the stored data could be guaranteed or not. Due to various controversy, the resistance of TLC is reasonable which explains the worry of QLC. Is QLC such terrible?

    There are lots of reasons for TLC SSD being accepted since it was put into market for three years to become mainstream. Whats more, there havent been problems worried by most people in recent years, large amounts of broken TLC SSD for example. Except for some individual broken cases it is less than the amount of broken HDD. It is unavoidable for QLC to be doubted from speed, lifetime and stability after all it just comes out. Now that it appears, its technologies must be mature enough. The QLC with cheaper costs and larger capacity is unable to be ignored that it will be widely accepted sooner or later just like TLC.

    What will the future of TLC be as the coming of QLC?

    As QLC coming into market, people may worry about the future of TLC. However, QLC is not used to replace TLC so there is no doubt that TLC will still be active in the market as usual. You can still buy TLC SSD in the future if you concerned about QLC. 

    QLC SSD is used to take place of large capacity HDD. In case of current technologies, the capacity of TLC SSD is up to TB level. However, most consumers arent affordable for the expensive price let alone replacing HDD, which is different from QLC.

    Actually, there have been many manufacturers trying to replace HDD by QLC. Micron for example, is the first to sell enterprise-class QLC SSD globally which has been widely accepted by many companies. After all there are obvious benefits to use QLC SSD compared with HDD, such as lower technically difficulty in enlarging capacity in the future(by stacking particles), less heat, faster speed, stronger vibrate resistance and higher density of per unit volume, which will be a good choice to replace HDD.

    How long is its lifetime?

    The greatest concern about QLC SSD is certainly its durability for ordinary customers, but as QLC is for mass storage that the worry is unnecessary. The main reason of the concern durability few years ago is small capacity of general SSD, which are mainly between 120G and 240G. It causes a misunderstanding that SSD has a short lifetime, while the SSD durability is proportional to its capacity.

    Why not specifically calculate about it? As the erase time of well known QLC SSD is between 500 and 1000, it will be based on 500 conservatively. The minimum QLC SSD capacity is 512G or even up to 1TB like Samsung 860 QVO SSD. With a 1TB minimum capacity, the whole erasing capacity of the SSD is 500TB(1TB*500). If writing 100GB data into it everyday, the lifetime of 1TB QLC SSD reaches 13 years. Actually, it is impossible for most customers to write 100GB data everyday. Furthermore, the lifetime of 2TB QLC SSD is up to 26 years. An ordinary computer will be weeded out after being used for 10 years in general. You may have changed several computers in 26 years let alone there will be better technologies to replace it.

    How is its performance?

    Performance will have more influence on customers purchasing compared with lifetime. After all the inherent P/E programming time of QLC is much longer than it of MLC and TLC, which results in a worse performance of QLC SSD in high-capacity continuous transmission.

    There is no need to complain the situation, after all QLC is used to take place of HDD with better performance. Those consumers who are concerned about its performance can choose TLC SSD and MLC SSD by making choice from lower price, large capacity and fast speed. 


    No matter it is TLC or QLC, consumer will accept it if only the SSD has cheap price, large capacity, fast speed and long lifetime. As the increasing QLC capacity, its durability will be proved as time goes by. QLC with capacity over 1TB and TLC SSD for small capacity is recommended. Now that giants like Samsung and Intel start launch their QLC it means its technologies are mature enough with the age of QLC flash memory era. It will be the same with TLC SSD being launced by more brands. HDD, which is the most affected, in notebook will be firstly weeded out by standard QLC. Thus, the purchase of QLC SSD will be guaranteed if only brand reputation is good.