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SK Hynix debuts new Gold and Platinum P31 consumer SSDs with 128-layer NAND flash

By Koh Wanzi - on 8 Jan 2020, 7:37pm

SK Hynix debuts new Gold and Platinum P31 consumer SSDs with 128-layer NAND flash

SK Hynix is dipping its toes back into the consumer SSD space with two new drives. The mainstream Gold P31 and higher-end Platinum P31 PCIe M.2 SSDs use the company's proprietary Quartz controller and vertically stacked 128-layer 4D NAND flash technology, with the Platinum P31 in particular offering pretty speedy read and write performance. 

They utilise TLC NAND and something SK Hynix calls Hyperwrite technology, which boosts write speeds through SLC buffering. 

The flagship Platinum P31 is aimed at performance users and PC gamers. It seems to be available in just a single 2TB capacity, with sequential read speeds of up to 3,500MB/s and sequential writes up to 3,200MB/s. It also has a 1,500 Terabytes Written (TBW) rating, compared to 750TBW on the Gold P31. The latter comes in smaller 500GB and 1TB sizes to appeal to a less demanding audience as well.

That aside, the Gold P31 is expected to hit the same sequential read and write speeds as the Platinum P31. Both drives are also backed by a 5-year warranty.

The so-called 4D NAND that SK Hynix references is mostly marketing fluff though. It's regular 3D NAND, but with the circuitry placed beneath the memory cells instead of being wrapped around them. This method is called Peripheral Under Cell (PUC), and Intel and Micron also do something similar under the name CMOS under Array. This allows for a more compact die overall that takes up less space. 

The new drives will launch first in the US later this year. There's no word on pricing yet.