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Micron Delivers Client NVMe Performance and Value SSDs With Industry-Leading Capacity Sizes and QLC NAND

Micron Technology, Inc., today announced new client solid-state drives (SSDs) that bring NVMe performance to client computing applications, freeing laptops, workstations and other portables from legacy architectures that can rob devices of battery power, performance and productivity. The Micron 2300 SSD combines the power and density needed to drive compute-heavy applications in a compact form factor with the reduced power consumption modern mobile users demand. For the first time, Micron brings together NVMe performance and low-cost quad-level-cell (QLC) NAND in the Micron 2210 QLC SSD. It combines fast NVMe throughput and Micron's leadership in QLC technology to offer flash capabilities at hard disk drive-like price points while reducing power consumption by 15 times when compared to hard drives.
Micron 2300 NVMe SSD

Addlink Intros S20M SATA 2.5-inch SSD Series

Addlink today refreshed its S20 line of SATA SSDs with the new S20M series. The refreshed lineup uses 96-layer 3D TLC NAND flash memory, and a Maxiotek MAS080X controller replacing the Phison S11-series controller on the original S20. The 2.5-inch, SATA 6 Gbps drive comes in 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB capacities, which offer varying performance. There is no 120-128 GB variant in the series. The 1 TB variant offers sequential reads of up to 560 MB/s, and up to 500 MB/s sequential writes. The 512 GB variant offers up to 550 MB/s reads, with up to 500 MB/s writes. The 256 GB variant does up to 510 MB/s reads, and up to 400 MB/s writes. Addlink claims increased endurance and MTBF over the S20, although it didn't specify numbers. The company didn't mention pricing, although availability is expected by late-May.

GIGABYTE Announces Updated UD Pro Series High-Endurance SATA SSDs

GIGABYTE today announced the refreshed UD Pro line of high-endurance SATA SSDs. Built in the 2.5-inch form-factor with SATA 6 Gbps interface, the drives come in capacities of 256 GB (GP-UDPRO256G), 512 GB (GP-UDPRO512G), and 1 TB (GP-UDPRO1T). The new drives feature updated 96-layer KIOXIA 3D TLC NAND flash memory, with increased endurance rating across the board. The 1 TB variant offers a staggering 750 TBW endurance (for perspective, the NAS-optimized WD Red SA500 1 TB is rated with 600 TBW); while the 512 GB variant offers 370 TBW; and the 256 GB variant 175 TBW.

All three variants offer sequential transfer speeds of up to 550 MB/s reads, with up to 530 MB/s writes. The 1 TB variant offers up to 98,000 IOPS 4K random reads and up to 89,000 IOPS 4K random writes. The 512 GB model offers 97,000/89,000 IOPS. The 256 GB model offers 98,000/89,000 IOPS. All three drives appear to be using a Phison S10-series controller with fixed 256 MB DRAM cache across all three variants. GIGABYTE is backing these drives with 5-year warranties. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Western Digital Announces WD Purple QD101 Ultra Endurance microSDXC Cards

Western Digital on Tuesday (27/04) announced availability of its WD Purple QD101 line of ultra-endurance microSDXC cards for use as internal storage in surveillance devices, such as smart security cameras. The card implements 96-layer 3D TLC NAND flash memory, is capable of 500 P/E cycles, and 256 TBW for its top of the line 512 GB variant. The card is particularly useful as a failsafe storage device for cameras in case their link to the NVR server is severed, and is rated for 24x7 operation. The card comes in capacities of 32 GB, 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB. The card is now shipping to NVR and smart camera manufacturers.

Kingston Releases Next-Gen KC2500 NVMe PCIe SSD

Kingston Digital, Inc., the Flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., a world leader in memory products and technology solutions, today announced KC2500, its next generation M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD for desktop, workstations and high-performance computing (HPC) systems. KC2500 NVMe PCIe SSD delivers powerful performance using the latest Gen 3.0 x 4 controller and 96-layer 3D TLC NAND. With speeds up to 3,500 MB/s read and up to 2,900 MB/s write, KC2500 combines outstanding performance and endurance that improves workflow for desktop, workstation and power users.

KC2500 is available in capacities up to 2 TB housed in a compact M.2 2280 form factor that saves space for other components while allowing users to take advantage of PCIe speeds. The self-encrypting SSD supports a full-security suite for end-to-end data protection using AES-XTS 256-bit hardware-based encryption. It allows the usage of independent software vendors with TCG Opal 2.0 security management solutions such as Symantec, McAfee, WinMagic and others. KC2500 has built-in Microsoft eDrive support, a security storage specification for use with BitLocker.
Kingston KC2500

Memblaze Launches PBlaze5 920 Series Enterprise NVMe SSDs in AIC and U.2 Form-factors

Beijing Memblaze Technology Co., Ltd. today announced the launch of PBlaze5 920 Series enterprise-class NVMe SSD, which can greatly enhance user experience. PBlaze5 920 Series NVMe SSD adopts 96-layer 3D eTLC NAND with a capacity up to 7.68 TB, and comes in form factors of 2.5-inch U.2 and HHHL add-in card. PBlaze5 920 Series consists of 4 groups of SKU -PBlaze5 D920, PBlaze5 C920, PBlaze5 D926 and PBlaze5 C926.

Memblaze PBlaze5 920 Series NVMe SSD offers up to 5.9 GB/s read bandwidth and 970,000 read IOPS, with read and write latency lowering to 90 μs and 12 μs respectively. With superior performance, perfect data protection, good compatibility, and user experience, as well as abundant enterprise-class features, PBlaze5 920 Series NVMe SSD enables customers to build high-speed, high-reliability, and flexible storage solutions for their mission-critical applications.

Kioxia Corporation Unveils 5th-Generation BiCS FLASH

Kioxia Corporation, the world leader in memory solutions, today announced that it has successfully developed its fifth-generation BiCS FLASH three-dimensional (3D) flash memory with a 112-layer vertically stacked structure. Kioxia plans to start shipping samples of the new device, which has a 512 gigabit (64 gigabytes) capacity with 3-bit-per-cell (triple-level cell, TLC) technology, for specific applications in the first quarter of calendar year 2020. The new device aims to fulfill ever-growing bit demands for a wide variety of applications, including traditional mobile devices, consumer and enterprise SSDs, emerging applications enabled by the new 5G networks, artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles.

Going forward, Kioxia will apply its new fifth-generation process technology to larger capacity devices, such as 1 terabit (128 gigabytes) TLC and 1.33 terabit 4-bit-per-cell (quadruple-level cell, QLC) devices.

SK Hynix Inc. Reports Fiscal Year 2019 and Fourth Quarter Results

SK hynix Inc. today announced financial results for its fiscal year 2019 and fourth quarter ended on December 31, 2019. The consolidated revenue of fiscal year 2019 was KRW 26.99 trillion won while the operating profit amounted to 2.71 trillion won, and the net income 2.02 trillion won. Operating margin for the year was 10% and net margin was 7%.

In order to respond to changing market conditions, SK hynix proactively adjusted both investment and output level last year to maximize business management efficiency. However, amid increasing global economic uncertainty, the increase of inventory burden and conservative purchasing policies on the side of the customers led to a slowdown in demand as well as price falls. As a result, the Company's earnings decreased year-over-year (YoY).

Plextor at CES 2020: M9P Plus AIC SSD and its M.2 Twin

Plextor showed off its very recently announced M9P line of premium PCI-Express NVMe SSDs at CES 2020. The M9P Plus comes in both half-height add-in card (AIC) form-factor, and a more conventional M.2-2280 form-factor. In both, it leverages PCI-Express 3.0 x4 along with the NVMe 1.3 protocol. At the heart of these drives is the Marvell 88SS1092 "Eldora Plus" controller that has 8 flash channels. This controller is paired with Kioxia 96-layer 3D TLC NAND flash (BiCS 4), and a DDR4 DRAM cache.

With capacities of 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB, the M9P offers sequential reads of up to 3,400 MB/s, with up to 2,200 MB/s writes (up to 1,700 MB/s writes for the 256 GB variant). Endurance (TBW) for the three models are proportionately rated at 160 TB, 320 TB, and 640 TB. The 256 GB variant of the M.2-2280 model is priced at $51, the 512 GB variant at $81, and the 1 TB variant at $135. The AIC equivalents are priced at roughly $15 premiums over these prices, and in addition to the convenience of AIC (easier to swap in a test bench), they feature some RGB LED embellishments.

Samsung at CES 2020: SSD 980 PCIe Gen 4 M.2, SSD T7, and the Gorgeous Odyssey G9 Monitor

It's finally here: a high-end PCI-Express gen 4.0 M.2 NVMe SSD by Samsung, made end-to-end by homebrew components. When it releases sometime later this year with a possible technical reveal in Q2, the SSD 980 will be possibly the only client-segment M.2 NVMe PCIe gen 4 SSD to feature MLC (2 bits per cell) NAND flash memory. This also means that the highest capacity on offer is just 1 TB. The company also put out sequential transfer rates: up to 6,500 MB/s reads, with up to 5,000 MB/s writes. The biggest payoffs of MLC would be sustained write performance and endurance (in its capacity class, compared to TLC and QLC).

Next up, is the Portable SSD T7 Touch, a successor to the T5 from 2017. This drive comes in an in-built fingerprint reader, letting you secure its data with your fingerprints. The drive is also a much needed update to the T5, which still uses 64-layer TLC NAND; and possibly uses the latest generation 96-layer V-NAND. The drive is built with an aluminium case that's drop-resistant up to 2 m. A single USB 3.2 connection handles power and data. The drive includes type-C to type-C and type-C to type-A cables, and will be compatible not just with PCs, but also Samsung Galaxy smartphones and tablets.

Western Digital Unveils WD Blue SN550 M.2 NVMe SSD

Western Digital unveiled the WD Blue SN550 line of M.2 NVMe SSDs. A successor to the WD Blue SN500, the SN550 is updated with a new controller that utilizes PCI-Express 3.0 x4 (compared to just x2 on the SN500). Designed in-house by WD and SanDisk, the controller is based on the same architecture as the one that drives the WD Black SN750, but is DRAM-less, and has fewer flash channels. Speaking of which, WD deployed 96-layer 3D TLC NAND flash, and wants the drive to compete in pricing with QLC NAND-based drives such as the Crucial P1. The 250 GB variant is priced at USD $54, the 500 GB variant $65, and the 1 TB variant $99.

All three variants take advantage of the increased PCIe bandwidth to offer sequential read speeds of up to 2,400 MB/s (the SN500 capped out at 1,700 MB/s). Write speeds vary, with the 250 GB variant offering up to 950 MB/s, the 500 GB variant up to 1,750 MB/s, and the 1 TB variant up to 1,950 MB/s. Endurance figures (TBW) of the three variants are rated at 150 TB for the 250 GB variant, 300 TB for the 500 GB variant, and 600 TB for the 1 TB variant. An interesting design choice with these drives is pushing the NAND flash chip and the controller as far apart on the PCB as possible, for less concentration of heat. All three models are backed by 5-year warranties.

Intel Launches SSD 665p "Neptune Harbor Refresh" Line of M.2 NVMe SSDs

Intel late Monday released its SSD 665p "Neptune Harbor Refresh" line of client-segment M.2 NVMe SSDs. The series was announced in September at the company's Storage Day event in South Korea. Built in the M.2-2280 form-factor, the drives feature PCI-Express 3.0 x4 host interface. They combine a Silicon Motion SMI2263 series controller with Intel's new 96-layer 3D QLC NAND flash memory. The previous-generation SSD 660p series use 64-layer chips. The SMI2263 controller is cushioned by an LPDDR3 DRAM cache.

Intel is debuting the SSD 665p series with just two models, 1 TB and 2 TB, skipping sub-terabyte capacities such as 500 GB. The 2 TB variant offers sequential transfer speeds of up to 2000 MB/s reads and up to 2000 MB/s writes; and random access speeds of up to 250,000 IOPS on both reads and writes. The 1 TB variant offers up to 2000 MB/s sequential reads, up to 1925 MB/s sequential writes, up to 160,000 IOPS random reads, and up to 200,000 IOPS random writes. The company didn't reveal endurance ratings for the drives. The 1 TB variant is priced at USD $125, while the 2 TB variant hasn't yet been priced. Both drives are backed by 5-year warranties.

KIOXIA PCIe 4.0 Enterprise NVMe SSDs Take Storage Performance to New Heights

KIOXIA America, Inc. (formerly Toshiba Memory America, Inc.), the U.S.-based subsidiary of KIOXIA Corporation, today announced that its lineup of PCIe 4.0 NVMeTM enterprise solid state drives (SSDs) has achieved PCI-SIG compliance for PCIe 4.0 and University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) certification. KIOXIA's CM6 Series successfully passed interoperability tests at the August 2019 PCI-SIG Compliance Workshop - the first workshop to include official PCIe 4.0 specification tests. KIOXIA America will be on hand at Supercomputing 2019 later this month to showcase new levels of flash performance enabled by its CM6 Series SSDs.

The first company to publicly demonstrate PCIe 4.0 SSDs, KIOXIA has established itself as a leader in developing PCIe 4.0 NVM Express SSDs and continues to push the limits of flash storage performance. The CM6 Series brings planned performance improvements of 3x over its PCIe 3.0 predecessors and is 12x faster than SATA drives. KIOXIA's lineup of Gen4 PCIe SSDs also includes the CD6 Series, which is targeted to cloud and scale-out environments.

Crucial Intros 2 TB Version of its BX500 Series SATA SSD

Crucial has started shipping a 2 TB version of its famous, budget/minded BX500 Series of SATA SSDs. As pricing on NAND density has come down, it makes sense that budget solutions start to increase their capacities as well, since there is no longer a premium on new, advanced technologies. The Crucial BX500 2 TB model features the same 3D TLC NAND as the other capacities in Crucial's portfolio: 96-layer 3D TLC NAND flash memory mated to an SMI SM2258XT DRAM-less controller.

Since it maintains the communication protocol (SATA), and the hardware is virtually unchanged except for higher densities, don't expect improved performance: the 2 TB drive is still rated for up to 540 MB/s reads and up to 500 MB/s writes. Pricing is set at $214 (or €241) for the 2 TB model, which means price per GB stands at roughly $0.10.

WD Introduces Storage Optimized for Public Safety, AI and Smart City Deployments

Western Digital Corp., today addressed head-on the need to optimize storage for video and AI analytics at the network edge. The increased use of smart cameras and ever-rising video resolutions are driving the requirement for on-camera storage. Western Digital introduced the WD Purple SC QD101 Ultra Endurance microSD card designed specifically for equipment makers, resellers and installers in the mainstream security camera market. In addition, the company announced a compelling new addition to the hard disk drive portfolio, WD Purple 14 TB HDD for surveillance, which is compatible with wide range of security systems.

According to IHS Markit Technology, global professional video surveillance camera shipments are expected to grow from 140 million to 224 million between 2018 and 2023, and those with onboard storage are expected to grow by an average of approximately 17 percent per year. 4K-compliant cameras are expected to grow from 3.6 percent of all network cameras shipped in 2018 to over 24 percent by 2023, and the up to 5.7X increase in bits generated by 4K vs.1080p video illustrates a fast-growing demand for more storage.

Intel Shares New Roadmap for Optane, NAND, Including 144 Layer QLC and TLC

Intel today at a press event in South Korea announced their plans for future product launches in the memory spaces. Optane is the name of the carriage Intel is pulling here - there's no novelty about that - and the company will be pushing a second generation release of Optane enterprise SSDs and Optane DC Persistent Memory modules. Most interesting for us down-to-earth PC enthusiasts, though - the market launch of 144 Layer QLC NAND in 2020, which should bring even lower pricing to NAND-based devices. Later, the company also plans to launch 144 layer TLC NAND solutions.

The new Optane modules apparently make use of first-generation 3D XPoint memory still - the love child of the now defunct Intel-Micron partnership. Intel's new Optane DC Persistent Memory products will materialize in codename Barlow Pass modules, with a release window around the likes of Cooper Lake (14nm) and Ice Lake (10nm) server processors scheduled for 2020. It seems that Intel's only consumer solution based in Optane - the Optane Memory H10 two-in-one SSD - is a lonely child effort which won't be joined by the previously-planned Optane Memory M15 (a dedicated cache drive for systems with mechanical-based storage, which are already on their way out) and Optane SSD 815P (which would only offer 118 GB of storage, clearly too little for current data storing trends in the overall market.

Western Digital Launches Two New Families of UltraStar NVMe SSDs

Western Digital today announced two new 96-layer 3D flash NVMe SSD families, the Ultrastar DC SN640 and Ultrastar DC SN340. Both are purpose-built for either mixed-use-case workloads or very read-intensive applications, respectively. The new Ultrastar drives help meet the evolving, and increasingly specific workload demands placed on data centers today, while building a strong, flexible foundation for the zettabyte-scale era of the future. Leveraging Western Digital's in-house SSD controller designs, firmware development and vertical integration, these new solutions underscore the company's strengths in developing innovations that allow customers' data to thrive, from edge to core to cloud.

NVMe is having a great impact on enterprises and what they can do with data, particularly for real-time analytics, M2M and IoT, and emerging technologies like composable infrastructure. Data center customers understand the nature of their data streams and application workloads and are realizing that today's general-purpose architectures are inefficient and can carry resource and cost overhead.

SK Hynix Reports Second Quarter 2019 Results

SK hynix Inc. today announced financial results for its second quarter 2019 ended on June 30, 2019. The consolidated second quarter revenue was 6.45 trillion won while the operating profit amounted to 638 billion won and the net income 537 billion won. Operating margin for the quarter was 10% and net margin was 8%.

As demand recovery did not meet expectations and price declines were steeper than expected, the revenue and the operating profit in the second quarter fell by 5% and 53%, respectively, quarter-over-quarter (QoQ). DRAM bit shipments increased by 13% QoQ as the Company actively responded to the mobile and PC DRAM markets, where demand growth was relatively high. However, DRAM prices remained weak and the average selling price dropped by 24%. For NAND Flash, the bit shipments increased by 40% QoQ because of demand recovery due to price declines, while the average selling price decreased by 25%.

Sabrent Intros Rocket PCIe 4.0 NVMe 1TB SSD at $230

American flash memory products manufacturer Sabrent announced a client-segment M.2 NVMe SSD that takes advantage of PCIe gen 4.0, the Rocket NVMe 4.0 series. Based on the same Phison PS5016-E16 controller as most PCIe gen 4.0 SSDs launched so far, the drive uses 96-layer 3D TLC NAND flash by Toshiba. It also appears to have higher on-paper performance numbers than most drives from other brands that use the same combination of controller and NAND flash, with up to 5,000 MB/s sequential reads, and up to 4,400 MB/s sequential writes, on both its 1 TB and 2 TB variants. The company didn't bother with a sub-terabyte variant. The 1 TB variant is priced at USD $229.99 ($0.23 per GB), and the 2 TB variant at $429.99 ($0.21 per GB).

SK hynix Launches World-Class Low-Power NVMe Enterprise SSD

SK hynix Inc. announced today that it launched a new low-power Non-Volatile Memory express (NVMe) Enterprise SSD (eSSD) with the 72-layer TLC 3D NAND flash that offers best-in-class performance for power as well as Quality of Service. The product features an in-house NVMe controller on top of the 72-layer 3D NAND technology currently in mass production. With the launch, SK hynix has established itself as a memory producer that designs, develops, and mass-produces all key components, from NAND and DRAM to controllers, in-house, for not only Client but also Enterprise applications.

Meanwhile, power consumption of datacenters is an increasingly important concern in terms of energy and environmental preservation, as their footprint grows amid rising enterprise demand for cloud, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Machine Learning (ML). As datacenters are expected to account for one-fifth of the world's energy consumption in 2025, low-power components that enable datacenter energy efficiency are expected to only grow in importance.

NAND Manufacturers Accelerate Deployment of 120/128 Layer 3D NAND Fabrication

A report from DigiTimes pits NAND manufacturers as accelerating their 120/128 layer 3D NAND technologies, aiming for volume production as early as 2020. Even as SK Hynix has begun sampling its 96-layer 4D NAND flash in March, Toshiba and Western Digital already had plans to introduce 128-layer technology, built on a TLC (Triple Level Cell) process technology so as to increase density while avoiding yield issues present with current QLC (Quad Level Cell) implementations.

The decision to accelerate deployment of the next generation of NAND comes from the fact that the market still faces an oversupply of NAND flash, mostly driven by the mature process of 64-layer NAND technology. With new technologies, higher ASPs and lower production scales are sustainable, which should enable supply to reduce enough so as to increase pricing of NAND-based technologies - and allow manufacturers to somewhat reset asking prices for new NAND chips.

GALAX HOF E16 is a Monstrous M.2 PCIe Gen 4 SSD Dressed in White

With AMD "Valhalla" desktop platform mainstreaming PCI-Express gen 4.0, several SSD manufacturers put out their first products that can take advantage of it, this Computex. The drive with the highest on-paper transfer rates has to be the HOF E16 from GALAX, which will also be sold under the Galaxy and KFA2 brands in various markets. Built in the M.2-2280 form-factor, the drive features an M.2 PCI-Express 4.0 x4 host interface (backwards-compatible with older PCIe generations), with 64 Gbps of interface bandwidth on tap. The drive comes in capacities of 1 TB, 2 TB, and segment-first 4 TB.

The HOF E16 uses the same heatsink GALAX deployed on the older generation of HOF M.2. A block of aluminium pulls heat from the drive's controller, while a flattened copper heat-pipe spreads heat across. The drive is based on the new Phison E16 controller that's cushioned by an LPDDR4 DRAM chip, and wired to 96-layer 3D TLC NAND flash memory. The drive offers sequential read speeds of up to 4,800 MB/s, and sequential writes of up to 4,000 MB/s. 4K random reads are rated at up to 750,000 IOPS, and 4K random writes up to 700,000 IOPS.

Toshiba Launches XG6-P NVMe SSD Series

Toshiba today announced the XG6-P solid state drive (SSD) series, a derivative of its NVMe M.2-based XG6 Series featuring class-leading write performance. Offering up to 2,048 gigabytes (GB) of capacity, XG6-P SSDs are ideal for high-end workstation PCs and gaming systems, as well as cost-optimized data center and composable infrastructures. With over 30 percent higher sequential and random write speeds and over 15 percent higher random read speeds than its predecessor, the XG6-P Series enables enhanced application performance and data access.

ADATA Unveils its M.2 PCIe Gen4 SSD: Ready for AMD X570

It looks like SSDs will beat graphics cards to utilizing (and benefiting) from the bandwidth of PCI-Express gen 4.0 bus. AMD X570 platform motherboards offer 2-3 M.2 slots with PCIe gen 4.0 x4 wiring (64 Gbps). Corsair formally launched the MP600, and now ADATA joins the party with its unnamed drive. Based on the Silicon Motion SM2267 controller, the drive comes in an unbelievable capacity of up to 8 TB, probably using 96-layer QLC NAND flash.

The controller features DRAM cache, and dynamic SLC caching (all of the NAND flash is treated as SLC until storage demands force portions of them to be treated as MLC, TLC, and eventually QLC). It takes advantage of NVMe 1.3 protocol. As for performance, ADATA claims sequential speeds of up to 4000 MB/s reads. Such speeds were impossible of PCIe gen 3.0 x4 due to various overheads. Sequential writes are still up to 3000 MB/s. 4K random read/write access is rated at 400k IOPS. The company didn't reveal availability details.

Kingston Introduces Next-Gen KC2000 NVMe PCIe SSD

Kingston Digital, Inc., the Flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., a world leader in memory products and technology solutions, today announced KC2000, its next generation M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD for enterprise and power users. Kingston's KC2000 NVMe PCIe SSD delivers powerful performance using the latest Gen 3.0 x 4 controller and 96-layer 3D TLC NAND. Offering superior read and write speeds up to 3,200 and 2,200MB/s, respectively, KC2000 delivers outstanding performance and endurance, and improves workflow in desktop, workstations and high-performance computing (HPC) systems.

KC2000 is a self-encrypting drive that supports end-to-end data protection using 256-bit AES Hardware-based encryption and allows the usage of independent software vendors with TCG Opal 2.0 security management solutions such as Symantec , McAfee , WinMagic and others. KC2000 also has built-in Microsoft eDrive support, a security storage specification for use with BitLocker.
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