Samsung first showed off its 980 Pro M.2 SSD back at CES, and this is a drive we're quite looking forward to. It's the first consumer-geared SSD from Samsung to feature the new PCI-Express 4.0 interface, and being a Samsung drive, this sets high expectations.
It can, therefore, be forgiven for Samsung to take a moment longer to bring this product to market, but the latest news is that it has passed through Korean regulators, with the license visible here as spotted by redditor wickedplayer494. This tells us that a launch is imminent, but the certificate also reveals the drive capacities.
The primary device that passed inspection is the MZ-V8P1T0, with derivative parts MZ-V8P500 and MZ-V8P250. It doesn't take a genius to spot that the capacities here are 1 TB, 500 GB, and 250 GB.
However, these capacities aren't very high. Although many of us are still eyeing 500 GB drives for the most part, 1 TB M.2 drives are quickly gaining popularity due to the increasing size of game installations. But there is no 2 TB drive in sight, so those who want stretch the PCI-Express 4.0 capacities further will have to find alternate methods if they want to use a Samsung drive.
Of course, it's important to note that the product in question here is the 980 Pro. Being the Pro-line, it's expected to come with faster and more durable flash, namely MLC (2 bits per cell), limiting the maximum capacity of the drives. Samsung will undoubtedly also be releasing a 980 Evo product at some point in time, which will in all likeliness come with TLC (3 bits per cell) flash, enabling higher capacities, but with lower performance and durability compared to the Pro products. However, thus far there has not been even as much as a peep about the 980 Evo, so the wait for such a product might be extensive.
Samsung's 980 Pro M.2 SSDs are expected to feature read and write speeds of 6500 MB/s and 5000 MB/s, respectively, which is notably faster than the Phison-based SSDs that are on the market today. These speed gains will be partly due to the use of higher-quality flash, but also thanks to the use of Samsung's own in-house-designed controller.
No exact release date is available for the Samsung 980 Pro yet, but we expect it to land near the end of the summer holidays.