Samsung and Western Digital today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that implies that the two companies will join their efforts to create next-generation data placement, processing, and fabrics (D2PF) storage technologies. The MOU states that the two companies will collaborate on creating Zoned Storage devices, including ZNS (Zoned Namespaces) SSDs and SMR (Shingled Magnetic Recording) HDDs. The ZNS SSD initiative is a challenge of creating entirely new SSDs that work on the ZNS principle instead of traditional block-based drives. Opposite to data in traditional SSDs written in blocks, ZNS SSDs will place data into zones and have software understand where each bit of information is written without excessive read/write action. Another benefit of ZNS is that managing data allows less garbage collection, thus higher efficiency.
Software adoption for ZNS makes it hard, and Samsung's conjoined efforts with Western Digital aim to simplify it. Western Digital notes that "In addition, this collaboration is expected to serve as a starting point to expand zone-based (e.g. ZNS, SMR) device interfaces, as well as future-generation, high-capacity storage devices with enhanced data placement and processing technologies. At a later stage, these initiatives will be expanded to include other emerging D2PF technologies such as computational storage and storage fabrics including NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF)." So, with further development of ZNS, Samsung and Western Digital will collab on more advanced storage options as well.