Newly Launched SSD Competitor Offers Highly Affordable PCIe 5.0 SSD with Impressive Speeds, Though Not as Fast as Crucial’s T705

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SK Hynix, a major South Korean electronics company and competitor of Samsung, has recently launched a new high-end SSD called PCB01. This innovative solid-state drive is specifically designed for on-device AI PCs, offering impressive speeds and efficiency for artificial intelligence applications.

The PCB01 SSD utilizes PCIe Gen 5.0 technology, enabling it to achieve remarkable sequential read and write speeds of 14GB and 12GB per second, respectively. In addition, it boasts 4K random read and write rates of 2 million IOPS, making it well-suited for LLM training and inference tasks. These speeds are so fast that AI computations can occur almost instantaneously, taking less than a second. This is an important feature for AI systems that rely on real-time decision-making.

Furthermore, the PCB01 SSD provides over a 30% improvement in power efficiency compared to its predecessors. This enhanced power efficiency ensures stability and reliability in large-scale AI computing tasks. In the field of AI, where massive amounts of data are processed and analyzed, power efficiency is crucial to maximize performance and minimize energy consumption.

One standout feature of the PCB01 SSD is its adoption of SLC caching. This technology utilizes single-level cell (SLC) storage in certain parts of the NAND cell structure, resulting in faster computing performance for both AI services and conventional tasks. The inclusion of SLC caching enhances overall system responsiveness and efficiency, contributing to a smoother computing experience.

In terms of security, SK Hynix has implemented a root of trust (ROT) solution in the PCB01 SSD. This security feature prevents cybersecurity attacks and ensures the protection of personal data. With the increasing concerns surrounding data privacy and security, having robust security measures in place is essential for AI systems.

The PCB01 SSD is currently undergoing validation and SK Hynix plans to mass-produce and ship the drives to corporate and general consumers later this year. The drive will be available in three capacities: 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB. Initially targeting original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), the PCB01 SSD is part of SK Hynix’s new Alistar platform, which utilizes an 8-channel interface and 238-layer TLC NAND technology.

As an OEM product, the PCB01 SSD does not come with any additional features such as a heatsink. However, it is expected that retail models will be more affordable compared to competitor products due to the lack of frills. Currently, there is no information available on the pricing of the PCB01 SSD.

SK Hynix has reported a high demand for this new product from global AI PC manufacturers. As a result, the company is committed to strengthening its position as a global leader in AI memory and NAND solutions. Ahn Hyun, Head of the N-S Committee at SK Hynix, expressed confidence in the success of the PCB01 SSD and its significance in the market. He emphasized the company’s dedication to meeting customer validation requirements and achieving mass production, thereby solidifying SK Hynix’s position in the AI memory industry.

In summary, SK Hynix’s new PCB01 SSD offers impressive speeds, power efficiency, and security features tailored for AI applications. With its outstanding sequential and random read/write performance, this SSD is poised to deliver high-performance computing for AI systems. The adoption of SLC caching and the incorporation of a root of trust solution further contribute to the SSD’s overall performance, responsiveness, and security. As SK Hynix plans to mass-produce and ship the drives later this year, it will likely attract attention from both corporate and general consumers in the AI market.

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