Western Digital Debuts NVMe PCIe Consumer SSDs

Posted on January 06, 2017 By Pedro Hernandez

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Western Digitial wants to help make NVMe PCIe solid state drives (SSDs) the storage technology of choice for the next generation of consumer PCs. Using this week's massive Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas as a backdrop, the hard drive maker debuted new WD Black PCIe SSDs that promise to give consumer PCs a big speed boost.

The company plans to ship its first client PCIe SSDs under the WD Black brand in mid-February. Two sizes will be available, a 256GB version for $109.99 and another with 512 GB of data storage capacity for $199.99.

Compared to SATA SSDs, the NVMe-based (Non-Volatile Memory Express) SSDs can deliver three times the sequential read performance, claims the company.

"NVMe PCIe-based SSD adoption is poised to accelerate in 2017 and the years to follow," said Jeff Janukowicz, vice president of IDC, commented in a statement. "Products like the WD Black PCIe SSD, with a broad ecosystem and compatibility testing, should give customers a significant performance increase over SATA SSDs and offer a straightforward solution for customers to update to or build future-ready systems."

The drives, packaged into an M.2 2280 form factor, have sequential read performance rating of 2,050 MB per second. At 800 MB per second, the 512GB model has a 100 MB per second edge over the 256GB unit in terms of sequential write performance. The NVMe drives support the PCIe Gen3 8 Gb per second standard.

Eyal Bek, senior director of client SSD at Western Digital's Devices Business Unit, said the industry is pointed to start leaving SATA behind and enter a new era of faster, longer-lasting client storage. According to the company's testing, the new WD Black PCIe SSDs have a mean time to failure (MTTF) rating of 1.75 million hours.

"We are in the midst of a once-in-a-generation interface change," stated Bek. "The WD Black PCIe SSD ramps up performance while delivering worry-free reliability for our customers worldwide. We believe that this will accelerate the transition that is already occurring from SATA to PCIe."

To help the new drives keep their cool in the tight confines of today's trim laptops, the SSDs were "designed with thermal and power management algorithms beyond the NVMe specification to help with consistent performance as well as low power consumption," boasted the company.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InfoStor. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.


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