August 19, 2020 | 13:00
SK Hynix has announced the release of its newest PCIe SSD: the SK Hynix Gold P31 - the world's first 128-layer NAND flash-based consumer SSD.
An ambition for many NAND makers in recent years, SK Hynix has managed to achieve it first hoping to offer a far superior experience than its competitors. The SK Hynix Gold P31 will be available in 1TB and 500GB varieties, with both models supporting the PCIe NVMe interface and both based on 4D NAND flash technology.
Being able to stack so many layers on top of each other enables SK Hynix to fit more data into the same dies which means less silicon per gigabyte plus reduces production costs, something that all consumers will want to see more often. That's certainly the case with the SK Hynix Gold P31 as the 1TB variety starts at $135 with the 500GB variant priced at $75. For now, those are USD prices with the drives expected to release further afield soon.
SK Hynix believes it is on to a winner for more than just the many layers too with read speeds of up to 3,500MB/s and write speeds of up to 3,200MB/s with the Korean based company regarding those as "best-in-class" figures. If that's the case, it should line up with some of the best PCIe 3.0 based NVME drives although obviously, we need to see some reviews. Perhaps the most reassuring thing of all is that consumers get a five year warranty if they choose to plump for one of these drives.
SK Hynix is positive about the future using this time and launch to announce that it also believes the Gold P31 will "claim a significant presence in the growing PCIe market" thanks to its "industry-leading performance metrics." Ultimately, we need to see some independent reviews to know if this is going to be the case but the development of a 128-layer NAND SSD is certainly quite the achievement. Like many firsts, it's what other companies do to compete with this that will really prove most useful for consumers.
Earlier in the year, Tom's Hardware reported on the news that Samsung is working on a 160-layer NAND and Intel is supposedly developing 144-layer flash so it'll be interesting to see what the future brings.
For now, keep an eye out for the European release of the SK Hynix Gold P31 and how the prices correlate.
September 17 2021 | 10:20