Samsung announces CSD: a special SSD

Samsung has partnered with Xilinx to design the CSD, which is the first SSD equipped with a microprocessor. Thanks to its computing capacity, it supports the CPU by processing part of the data normally allocated to the CPU and GPU, which has the effect of greatly increasing the performance of the PC.

The company has developed a number of applications for its new storage device, ranging from video encoding to artificial intelligence programming, which could lead the company to revolutionize the architecture of the PC.

At Flash Memory Summit 2020, the company presented SmartSDD, a whole new kind of storage system. But why smart? Because it is equipped with a processor that makes it capable of performing certain calculations, instead of assigning this task to the CPU or GPU, hence the name CSD, which stands for Computing Storage Device.

Looking at the same, it looks like a regular 2.5 inch SSD and offers 4TB of storage capacity.

“Contemporary architecture requires heavy data transfers between CPU, GPU, SSD and RAM,” explains the brand. “Performance is zero and quickly reaches a critical peak. SmartSSD adds computing power to the storage system, dramatically reducing data exchange while speeding up data processing.”

Samsung reveals CSD

To achieve these results, Samsung has partnered with Xilinx, a company specializing in the design of FGPA (Field-Programmable Gate Array, for “programmable pre-dispersed circuits”), cellular circuits that can be reprogrammed at will. Integrated into the CSD, these circuits act as intermediaries between the CPU and the storage space, which allows data to be processed closer to it, avoiding unnecessary transfers and overloading the processor. The result: less latency, smarter storage – in short, performance increases exponentially, according to Samsung’s words.

The other important advantage of this system is that it is fully customizable by the user, provided he is familiar with logic network programming. This feature offers a very large number of applications for the SSD: video encoding, machine learning, facial recognition, etc.

“SmartSSD CSD was designed to enable a new range of programmers – including software engineers and artificial intelligence researchers – to create turnkey solutions through unyielding hardware acceleration,” adds Xilinx.


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