MWC 2018: Western Digital Launches SN720 and SN520 M.2 NVMe SSDs

Subject: Storage | February 27, 2018 - 11:03 AM |
Tagged: wdc, WD, ssd, SN720, SN520, sandisk, NCMe, nand, M.2, BiCS, 2280, 2242, 2230

Western Digital launched a few new NVMe SSDs at Mobile World Congress today:

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To the left we have the WD PC SN720, a PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe SSD boasting speeds of up to 3.4GB/s and IOPS up to 500k. Available capacities are 1TB, 512GB, and 256GB. To the right we have the WD PC SN520, a more power efficient variant running on half of the PCIe lanes, and with specs coming in at roughly half of its faster brother. Capacities are also cut in half, with the range dropping to 512GB, 256GB, and 128GB. Interestingly, all capacities are available in three M.2 form factors (2280, 2242, and 2230).

We don't have a specific part number for the controller, but WD told us they are manufactured on a 28nm process, employ 8 NAND channels, and use DDR4 RAM (not DRAMless). The controller is optimized for interfacing with WD (/Toshiba) BiCS NAND flash, meaning these SSDs should prove to be a well integrated solution.

Press blast from WD appears after the break.


New Architecture and Two New NVMe 3D NAND SSDs Accelerate Data for Commercial, Compute and IoT Systems

SAN JOSE, CA – Feb. 26, 2018 – Addressing the needs of a growing landscape of Internet of Things (IoT) and Fast Data applications at the edge, Western Digital Corporation (NASDAQ: WDC) today announced two new NVMe™ SSDs – Western Digital® PC SN720 and Western Digital PC SN520 powered by a new NVMe storage architecture, scalable for a range of emerging implementations, from IoT and edge computing to mobile computing systems.

The new Western Digital NVMe client architecture and product portfolio will enable manufacturers of IoT devices, computing devices such as thin and light, 2-in-1 and embedded PCs and monitoring systems to enable the capture and transformation of the massive quantities of data in real-time at the edge of smart city, smart home and personal data environments. Cisco GCI estimates that nearly 850 zettabytes (ZB) will be generated by all people, machines and things by 2021. With the advent of high-bandwidth technologies like 5G, augmented reality and facial recognition, new applications can benefit from the exceptional performance, power efficiency and capacity of NVMe and Western Digital 3D NAND to deliver an optimal user experience.

“Performance demands on PCs continue to increase, thanks to new applications like VR and AI, as well as the growing requirements for gaming, 4K editing and more,” said Bob O’Donnell, President of TECHnalysis Research. “This is driving PC makers to ensure that their storage subsystems can meet these expanded requirements with technologies like NVMe and high-speed flash SSDs. We’re also seeing similar storage demands in other fields, including IoT applications in manufacturing, medical, video surveillance and more.”

The groundbreaking new NVMe SSD firmware and controller architecture is purpose-built to maximize the performance and scalability benefits of Western Digital 3D NAND, and is in lock-step with the company’s NAND evolution. “With this new vertically integrated SSD platform, we are able to optimize the architecture to our NAND for low latency and power efficiency, and most important, for the growing range of applications benefiting from NVMe,” said Eyal Bek, Senior Director of Client SSD, Devices Business Unit, Western Digital. “The scalable architecture supports a range of capacity and performance points, while streamlining system qualification to improve time-to-market for our customers.”

New SSDs Deliver Performance and Power Efficiency

The Western Digital PC SN720 and Western Digital PC SN520 are the first NVMe SSDs built with the new platform, which will deliver a broad portfolio of NVMe performance, form factor and power efficiency options.

Western Digital PC SN720—Leading-edge Performance and Western Digital 3D NAND

The Western Digital PC SN720 is currently sampling with select customers. It will be available in 256GB, 512GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities on a single-sided M.2 2280 form factor. It delivers leading-edge performance with sequential read/write speeds of up to 3,400MB/s and 2,800MB/s*. Customers are supported with a 5-year limited warranty.

Western Digital PC SN520—A variety of form factors with NVMe performance

Western Digital PC SN520 is also currently sampling with select customers. It will be available in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB capacities. For greatest design flexibility and one of the lowest power draws in the industry, the Western Digital PC SN520 will be available as single-sided M.2 2280, M.2 2242, or M.2 2230 form factors.

Western Digital NVMe SSDs at Mobile World Congress and Embedded World

See a product demonstration of the Western Digital PC SN720 and Western Digital PC SN520 NVMe SSDs at Embedded World and Mobile World Congress. Featuring flexible form factors to enable ultra-thin, ultra-small systems that pack a powerful punch in a compact design, low power and exceptional performance features of the Western Digital PC SN720 and Western Digital PC SN520 will be on display. Come see how these products help promote a responsive, connected user experience on converged mobility devices.

Additionally, at Embedded World, Western Digital will demonstrate how IoT devices of today and tomorrow are powered by SSDs in a smart city environment and learn about the importance of low latency together with capacity in modern IoT gateway devices.

Mobile World Congress (Feb. 26 – Mar. 1, 2018) - Booth #3K33 in Hall 3 at the FIRA Gran Via Exhibition Center in Barcelona, Spain.

Embedded World (Feb. 27 – Mar. 1, 2018) - Booth #32 SQM in Hall 3A-429 at Exhibition Centre in Nuremberg, Germany.

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February 27, 2018 | 11:10 AM - Posted by BinkyTO (not verified)

The endurance numbers of the drives are very low -- 400TB for the 1TB SN720 drive.

February 27, 2018 | 01:36 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

That's the same rating as the 1TB 960 EVO. I'd hardly call it 'very low'.

February 27, 2018 | 02:57 PM - Posted by Anonymous5363746476 (not verified)

I really wish someone (Samsung I'm looking at you) would give us 4TB m.2 drives.

February 27, 2018 | 06:10 PM - Posted by PixyMisa

Intel have one. Just $4199.

February 27, 2018 | 05:53 PM - Posted by Ralph (not verified)

The PC SN720 comes in my favorite capacity: Tootie B

February 28, 2018 | 02:01 AM - Posted by Humanitarian

interested to see the performance differences on the 3 models.

February 28, 2018 | 09:28 AM - Posted by YTech

I always get confused with the M.2 SSD. I understand the number associated which determines the dimensions, however what about the notches?

If I understand correction;

PC SN520 would be a:
• M.2 B & M

PC SN720 would be a:
• M.2 M

If they are using the PCIe Gen 3 x4 lanes would vary on the Motherboard. Correct?

February 28, 2018 | 01:01 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

Most current motherboards support PCIe 3.0 x4 (M key) on their M.2 port, with SATA being optional (check the detailed specs / manual for the specific motherboard you intend to use). It's rare to see a B-only socket on a board since the devices themselves can fall back from 4 to 2 lanes if necessary. B+M keyed devices are limited to x2, but maximize compatibility as they can be used in sockets that are keyed either way.

March 2, 2018 | 12:17 PM - Posted by YTech

Thanks for clarifying :)

February 28, 2018 | 09:33 AM - Posted by OnPaperMostlyTalkAtThisPointInTime (not verified)

"We don't have a specific part number for the controller, but WD told us they are manufactured on a 28nm process, employ 8 NAND channels, and use DDR4 RAM (not DRAMless). The controller is optimized for interfacing with WD (/Toshiba) BiCS NAND flash, meaning these SSDs should prove to be a well integrated solution."

What about the amount of SLC/MLC(2)/TLC(3), or even QLC(4), states per cell information.

And this "Press blast from WD appears after the break." is too lacking in details on the part of WD. So that's vaporware until the part neubers are released and the full data-sheets can be read.

February 28, 2018 | 01:03 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

Datasheets (with part numbers) are listed on the very pages that this article links to. Here's a direct link to one of them. Press releases rarely contain datasheet-level details. That's not the purpose of a press release.

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