The long awaited M.2 version of Intel's Optane SSD 905P tipped up on Newegg last night.
The M. 22110 (the long one) drive will initially ship with 380GB. Newegg opened up a preorder for the drive last night. You can find it with the model number SSDPEL1D380GAX1 or just follow our link.
This is the first time we glanced at the final design of the drive and it does come with a surprise. The all black heat sink shown at Computex, the same used on the enterprise version, was replaced with a dark gray heat sink from EK. We wonder if EK will release a liquid cooled heat sink at some point as an aftermarket upgrade. There is a credible rumor from a leaked slide showing a 765GB M.2 905P but Newegg doesn't show that size as an option. We may see such a drive for the first time at CES in January 2019.
MyDigitalSSD has begun shipping the BPX Pro, the company's next generation NVMe SSD and the first high-performance model in two years. The BPX Pro is the successor to the original BPX, the product that put the company on the enthusiast map by utilizing 2-bit per cell MLC flash at the start of the TLC era. The act of shipping the BPX Pro is only half of the story today.
MyDigitalSSD president Matt Dawson released a statement late Thursday to announce availability and new pricing. The company sold a number of BPX Pro SSDs through preorder and that's where this story gets interesting. The new pricing is up to 25% less and all capacities saw a reduction. Those that pre ordered the BPX Pro will receive refunds to the new pricing.
The world's fastest consumer SSD gets a capacity upgrade. Intel's Optane SSD 905P moves to a massive 1.5TB for both the add-in card (AIC) and U.2 form factors.
The move isn't entirely out of the blue or surprising. Intel's data center version, DC P4800X, already sports a 1.5TB capacity. Today's announcement shows the add-in card series getting a new 1.5TB part number. The company starting shipping a 960GB size back in May when the 905P first game to market. The U.2 form factor gains two new capacities today, 960 GB and 1.5TB. The Optane 905P U.2 previously only shipped in a 480GB size.
There are not many secrets when it comes to Intel's upcoming 905P Optane M.2 SSD. The drive made center stage at Intel's Computex Keynote, was running in every motherboard vendor's booth, and again on display at Flash Memory Summit. We know so much about the M.2 version of the fastest consumer SSD ever released that it's almost like they've been on sale for months. The only problem, they haven't and until the other day no one outside of Intel knew when these small form-factor drives would go on sale.
A discussion on Intel's forum answered the time to market question. The M.2 905P will go on sale in late October according to an Intel representative. We know the M.2 series will start with a 380GB model in a 22110 size but are not sure about other sizes.
What makes the 905P different from Intel's existing Optane SSD is the seven-channel controller that increases performance and capacities. Power and thermal constraints may limit the M.2 905P performance compared to the add-in card version, but we don't expect to see a large drop. We also don't expect to see large capacities with the M.2 drive until IMFT releases second generation 3D XPoint memory.
MyDigitalSSD just announced the first Phison PS5012-E12 SSD, the BPX Pro. The announcement comes just weeks before we expect the new premium-class NVMe SSD to ship. MyDigitalSSD also added a preorder so we have official pricing for the BPX Pro right out of the gate.
Performance reaches up to 3,400 MB/s sequential read and up to 3,100 MB/s sequential write speeds. MyDigitalSSD only shows random performance in CrystalDiskMark but Phison specs the E12 with up to 600,000 IOPS for both random reads and writes.
We published a preview article with the Phison PS5012-E12 controller recently but the drive uses firmware from January. A new preview article will hit the front page of TweakTown in the coming days with firmware from last month. The BPX Pro will ship with mass production firmware that is even newer than our latest preview article.
Without much of a fuss Crucial released the MX500 entry-level SATA SSD. We've yet to see an announcement but the drive tipped up on the Crucial website and Amazon to prove its existence. Shipping on Amazon will begin on September 4th but you can get a head start by ordering on Crucial.com where where drives will begin shipping on August 31st.
At the time of writing all three capacities show the same performance ratings. The BX500 will achieve up to 540 MB/s sequential read and 500 MB/s sequential write speeds. Crucial doesn't list random performance on this series. Given the low endurance ratings, we can only assume the BX500 is the first consumer SSD from the company to utilize 4-bit per cell memory.
In the three year warranty coverage, the 120GB BX500 gives users support for 40 terabytes written (TBW). That doubles to 80 TBW for the 240GB model and then levels off with just 120 TBW for the 480GB model. The endurance seems low compared to the mainstream MX500 with 3-bit per cell TLC memory but the entry-level BX500 allows for 21GB per day for 5 years with the 120GB drive.
Just a month ago Intel released the SSD 660p, the world's first retail SSD with 4-bit per cell QLC technology. The drive looks good on paper and the reviews look great thanks to high random read performance and a fabulous price (660p 1TB at $199.99). QLC is much better than we expected in a typical consumer workload and the promise of lower-cost large-capacity SSDs excites everyone. The next shoe to drop is more QLC and third-party manufacturers releasing competitive products that decrease the cost while pushing the technology into niche products outside of the fabs target customers.
Today we were told not to expect that anytime soon. Intel and manufacturing partner Micron have low yields with QLC. The conditions may never get better with this generation. A source close to the situation stated the current yield for 64-layer QLC is hovering right around 48%. Less than half of the die manufactured are reliable enough to use in an SSD. In contrast, current 64-layer TLC from IMFT has a yield right around 90% as of today. Usually companies work to increase yields over time but the push to finish more profitable 96-layer flash may divert engineering resources away from 64-layer QLC.
At this time, QLC bits are more expensive to manufacture than TLC bits. Intel went ahead and released the SSD 660p to make a technology statement, but that doesn't mean QLC is ready to displace TLC just yet.
Flash Memory Summit 2018 - In 2015, Micron purchased a start-up SSD controller company called Tidal Systems, Inc. Tidal was on the verge of announcing IP and products when Micron purchased the company and all of its assets. Since then, Tidal Systems disappeared, and so did the products it was working on. At FMS 2018, Micron displayed a next-generation SSD with a Micron-branded controller. A company representative went off the record to confirm this is the long awaited Tidal NVMe controller.
Everything we could gather on the client SSD can be seen in the video. The display show two unannounced products, the first with a Marvell SATA controller paired with QLC flash. The middle product, the one with the Micron branded controller, is more interesting.
The display leads us to believe Micron will release the unnamed NVMe SSD to OEMs for high-performance systems. It supports user mode encryption and appears to be an 8-channel architecture with support for DDR4. The screen makes it difficult to see more than the broad strokes.
Flash Memory Summit 2018 - After ravaging the consumer SSD market for the last two years, Silicon Motion took the wraps off its first enterprise-focused controller.
The SM2270 will initially ship in enterprise SSDs from subsidiary Shannon Systems. SMI will likely have a number of additional design wins. Most of the companies we speak with on the consumer SSD side praise SMI for exceptional customer service and responsive field engineers that help bring products to market.
The SM2270 supports up to PCIe 3.0 x8 and started out as a design for add-in cards (AIC). Changes in market conditions pushed SMI to move the design to 2.5" products with dual-mode compatibility. We may see the SM2270 used in both AIC and 2.5" products.
Samsung announced mass production of the company's first 4-bit per cell V-NAND SSD for the consumer market. The drive will use Samsung's 1Tbit V-NAND and ship in 1TB, 2TB and 4TB capacities.
The company didn't release the series name for the new QLC-enabled drive but we doubt this will fall under the 860 EVO series. Performance is said to be similar to 3-bit per cell V-NAND products thanks to TurboWrite technology that writes most data in a consumer workload to a SLC buffer.
"Samsung's new 4-bit SATA SSD will herald a massive move to terabyte-SSDs for consumers," said Jaesoo Han, executive vice president of memory sales & marketing at Samsung Electronics. "As we expand our lineup across consumer segments and to the enterprise, 4-bit terabyte-SSD products will rapidly spread throughout the entire market."