The sun has risen a little early on Crucial's new P1 series SSD equipped with Micron's quad-level cell (QLC) NAND. Crucial hasn't announced the drive, but it's appeared on Amazon Japan as the "Crucial SSD M.2 500 GB P1 series Type 2280 PCIe 3.0 × 4 NVMe 5 year warranty CT 500 P 1 SSD 8 JP." More information has also become available via Crucial's UK website, but there still hasn't been an announcement for the U.S. market.
Pretty much everything about Crucial's new P1 SSD is found in the Amazon Japan posting. It's a 500GB drive in the Type 2280 form factor that comes with a five-year warranty. In terms of performance, the listing claims that the drive offers up to 1,900MB/s sequential read, 950MB/s sequential write speeds and up to 90,000 IOPS and 220,000 IOPS for random read and write, respectively.
The listing also says capacity can be expanded from 500GB to 2TB and that the new drive has a mean time to failure of 1.8 million hours. Crucial's UK website backs that up with the revelation of 1TB and 2TB drives, with the latter being marked as "coming soon." In addition to their varying capacities, the 1TB and 2TB drives offer improved performance over their 500GB counterpart, which can be seen below.
|Crucial P1 SSD (500GB)||Crucial P1 SSD (1TB)||Crucial P1 SSD (2TB)|
We expected to see either Micron or Toshiba release their 64-layer NAND at some point this year. The companies have been competing for the QLC crown for a while, and both promised in 2017 to release the next-gen storage technology sometime this year. Micron then said in May that it was shipping 5210 SSDs ranging in capacity from 1.92TB to 7.68TB to strategic partners and customers. Now, a QLC drive is reaching consumers.
Amazon Japan listed Crucial's new QLC NAND drive at ¥15,066 with standard delivery. That's roughly $135, and considering the stated 500GB capacity, that could offer an idea of where QLC NAND drives will sit in the market. Micron previously said QLC's 1 terabit die density provides 33 percent more storage capacity than its MLC NAND die, which could in turn lead to a 33 percent price reduction, but that doesn't seem to be the case here.