Thursday, 01 June 2017 22:14

WD and Sandisk celebrate launch of ‘world first’ SSD with 64-layer 3D NAND

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It’s not just Samsung that can boast of 3D NAND, but now the storage powerhouse that is WD and SanDisk, who’ll launch 64-layer 3D NAND SSDs in Q3 2017.

Every major company claims to be a global leader in something, and in WD or Western Digital’s case, it’s clearly "data storage technology and solutions".

The company, which purchased SanDisk last year for approx US$19 billion, now says it is announcing “the world’s first client solid state drives built with its 64-layer 3D NAND technology”, with the only catch being that deliveries start in Q3 2017, rather than immediately.

Naturally billing it as a “technology milestone”, WD proudly boasts that this “enables the company to deliver new, innovative SSDs with lower power consumption and higher performance, endurance and capacities”, and that this is “the latest achievement in a nearly three-decades-long legacy of flash memory industry firsts from the company".

Mike Cordano, WD’s president and chief operating officer, said: “Delivering 64-layer 3D NAND-based SSDs into the PC segment marks a critical step in our ongoing conversion to this new technology, as well as offers long-term benefits for our customers.

“Between our two, strong brands in SanDisk and WD, and their respective loyal customer bases and distribution channels, these advanced SSDs will appeal to a very broad footprint of the computing population that are seeking the benefits of today’s newest technologies.

"So, what we have is a range of SSDs under the two big brands, WD and SanDisk, with SD range aimed at 'DIY enthusiasts, resellers and system builders', and the SanDisk range aimed at 'gaming and creative enthusiasts'.”

Here’s the breakdown:

First up is the WD Blue 3D NAND SATA SSD range, which targets those aforementioned ”DIY enthusiasts, resellers and system builders”.

The WD Blue 3D NAND SATA SSDs are said to “boast an industry-leading 1.75M hours MTTF, as well as the quality backing of WD Functional Integrity Testing Lab (F.I.T. Lab) certification".

In addition, we are told that “consumers can download free tools: Acronis True Image WD Edition cloning software, and WD SSD Dashboard software, which enables continuous performance and capacity monitoring, and firmware updates".

The WD Blue 3D NAND Drives offer up to 560MB/s and 530MB/s sequential read and write speeds, and a three-year limited warranty.

All the specs and more are here

Here’s the corporate video:

Then there’s the SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD range, boasting “accelerated performance for gaming and graphics". Here we’re told that the SanDisk Ultra 3D range is “intended for gaming and creative enthusiasts who want to improve their PCs,” and that “the SanDisk Ultra 3D SSDs are ideal as a drop-in upgrade for existing systems".

The explanation continues, stating that “for consumers looking for a simple path to upgrade their PCs, a SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD delivers enhanced endurance and reliability, no-wait boot-up, shorter application load times, and quicker data transfer", alongside the promise of “pro-level multitasking".

You also get “proven shock and vibration resistance to protect your drive”, along with cooler and quieter computing.

The SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD Drives also offer up to 560MB/s and 530MB/s sequential read and write speeds, and also offer a three-year limited warranty.

All the specs and more are here.

What about availability and pricing?

Well, WD says its “WD Blue 3D NAND SATA SSDs will be available in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities in both a traditional 2.5-inch/7mm cased drive as well as a single-sided M.2 2280 form factor".

Like all WD SSDs, the WD Blue 3D NAND SATA SSD includes WD F.I.T Lab certification for compatibility with many leading platforms. SanDisk Ultra 3D SSDs will be available in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacities in a traditional 2.5-inch/7mm cased drive form factor.

Both the new WD and SanDisk range will be available worldwide in the third quarter of 2017.

There are no Australian prices as yet, but both drives will start at US$99.99 for the 250GB models, and presumably go up in price accordingly. When local pricing is known, we’ll publish the information.

Until then, Q3 is still about three months away, so you’ll need to choose from one of the many SSD brands already available, but at least WD and SanDisk are introducing these new models to shake up the competition and hopefully help to banish traditional and traditionally slow hard drives from the lives of consumers in all but the largest capacities as soon as possible!

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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