Computex 2017 News

Western Digital (WD) debut their first 64-layer NAND solid-state drives

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Western Digital, on of the most widely known data storage companies, has today taken the wraps off its latest consumer-focused solid state drives (SSDs). It has unveiled WD Blue 3D NAND SATA SSD and SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD under its prominently known brands, which are based on its 64-layer 3D NAND memory. It makes them the world’s first consumer-focused SSDs to have been built on using this technology.

Speaking on the launch, Mike Cordano, president and chief operating officer, Western Digital said:

Delivering 64-layer 3D NAND-based SSDs into the PC segment marks a critical step in our ongoing conversion to this new technology, as well as offers long-term benefits for our customers.

Most of the specifications of these two solid-state drives are very much the same. They both feature the same controllers, provide the same level of performance and consume less power than any other consumer SSD. It seems like an ill-placed product strategy but this is one of the major dilemmas being faced by WD since the acquisition of SanDisk.

There is, however, one difference in the target user market of the SSDs. The WD Blue is designed for system builders and general computing needs whereas the SanDisk Ultra is aimed at gamers and creative enthusiasts. Both the SSDs claim to deliver up to 560 MB/s and 530 MB/s sequential read and write speeds respectively. They also deliver shorter app-load and boot time, quicker data transfer speeds and quieter computing.

Cordano also comments on the addition two different, but quite similar products, to their product arsenal for the global consumer market. He adds:

Between our two, strong brands in SanDisk and WD, and their respective loyal customer bases and distribution channels, these advanced SSDs will appeal to a very broad footprint of the computing population that are seeking the benefits of today’s newest technologies.

Both of these solid-state drives are available in 250 GB, 500 GB, 1 TB and 2 TB storage capacities. While the storage devices will be available in the standard 2.5-inch configuration, the WD Blue would also be made available in the M.2 2280 form factor (internally mounted computer expansion cards). The latter also has the backing of WD Functional Integrity Testing Lab (F.I.T. Lab), making it compatible with most leading platforms.

There is no price difference between the two, so you can pick an SSD either from SanDisk or Western Digital, starting at $99.99. It is expected to be made available across the globe in the third quarter of this year.

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