In a joint announcement, Western Digital and its subsidiary SanDisk outed their first SSDs with 64-layer NAND technology. The new consumer products utilize BiCS FLASH, the highly anticipated 3D stacking technology that’s used to increase storage density and increase endurance.
The WD Blue 3D and SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD families come to market with identical speeds and feeds. Capacities range from 250GB to 2TB with stops along the way at 500GB and 1TB. WD told us to expect up to 560 MBps sequential read and 530 MBps sequential write speeds from the 64-layer 3-bit per cell 3D NAND used in the drives. We don’t expect a significant performance loss from the smaller capacity models.
BiCS FLASH will ship in both 256Gbit and 512Gbit die capacity sizes, and that allows manufacturers to keep parallelism high in smaller capacity models. We reached out for more details but were unable to confirm what controller Western Digital paired with the new flash technology. Further, we could not confirm the existence of DRAM in these new products.
The WD Blue 3D NAND SATA SSD adds more product SKUs, from an M.2 single-sided 2280 form factor. Many new thin and light notebooks ship with only an M.2 connector for storage, so it’s nice to have a mainstream upgrade path.
Western Digital didn’t give us price points for all capacity sizes, but we know all three 250GB products carry a $100 MSRP with a three-year warranty. Expect products to ship in Q3 2017.