Re: QLC? It's not the one for me
> The hardware in an SSD however is fixed
More or less, but it changes areas dynamically from QLC to SLC or somewhere in between as the drive decides it needs caching or not - and it's constantly moving things around to keep everything healthy, plus the level of error correction being applied is mind-blowing and adjacently addressed bits aren't necessarily stored physically adjacently.
> and so maximum voltage levels in the cells will decline as they age
These aren't electrolytic capacitors with leaky insulators. They're silicon electron wells - about the best insulated form of FET you can devise. It's about coulombs, not volts.
> but more to the point - not uniformly between them.
They already do.
> So the firmware can't simply adjust its voltage level parameters to account for it.
The firmware already does and is already dynamically recalibrating itself over areas of the die to account for ion drift, else large chunks would become unusable very quickly. That's the point of having all that processing power onboard to actively keep track of and manage the health of the NAND.
Samsung wouldn't be shipping QLC without a large level of confidence in their product - and whilst they put a 3 year warranty on their _consumer_ drives, WD and Seagate have so much confidence in their consumer devices that they best they'll offer is 2 years(*), but more usually 12 months - and I've had to replace far too many drives under warranty in that 2 year period for purchases made since 2011.
(*) One of their fabulous weasel antics is to refuse to honour warranties on anything sold via an OEM and point the customer back to that supplier - meaning if they gave you a 6 month warranty or went toes up, that's what you got. Samsung have zero quibbles about directly honouring warranties.