SK Hynix drops the world's first SSD with 128-layer memory. Basically Samsung speed for less

(Image credit: SK Hynix)

Coming out of Seoul today, the world’s first 128-layer NAND flash-based consumer SSD—the SK Hynix Gold P31. Self proclaimed as ‘one of the fastest and most innovative consumer SSDs on the market’, SK Hynix claims its new heavily stacked memory chips will boast better performance for a lower price, and that they should even last longer.

Or, as SK Hynix assures us succinctly: "This tech enables faster speeds." Great, thanks guys.

Already an industry giant, SK Hynix has been supplying quality DRAM and NAND products to your favourite tech companies for years, having supplied some GDDR6 to Nvidia for its graphics cards, but is a little late to the party when it comes to making its own SSD. Last year it introduced the Gold S31, a pretty standard SATA SSD, but is now coming to the market with its first PCIe drive.

It may only be a PCIe 3.0 drive, when we're all keenly anticipating the next generation of speedy PCIe 4.0 SSDs, but it is the bigger market. Even so, SK Hynix has swooped in with some breakthrough innovations in the realm of PCIe SSD here, with its own controller and NAND flash memory to rival top-tier chips like the (now seemingly measly) 96 layer silicon in the Samsung 970 EVO Plus.

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The SK Hynix Gold P31 is likely to end up around the same level of performance as the Samsung drive, with projected sequential read/write speeds of 3,500 and 3,200MB/s, respectively. It's also predicting the write endurance of its 1TB SSD to be around 750TBW. You know, that’s pretty good compared with the 600TBW of the Samsung 970 EVO SSDs. 

Don’t worry, we’ll be double checking these stats as soon as we get our hands on one. Well, not the endurance, we don't have that much time… but we'll be putting the Gold P31 through its paces very soon.

For now the Gold P31 is available in 1TB and 500GB capacity, complete with a five year warranty at an attractive $135 for the larger drive, which is miles cheaper than its Samsung competitors. Unfortunately, it is only in PCIe Gen 3 trim at the moment, but surely SK Hynix will be following up with a PCIe Gen 4 controller of its very own. 

Katie Wickens
Hardware Writer

Screw sports, Katie would rather watch Intel, AMD and Nvidia go at it. Having been obsessed with computers and graphics for three long decades, she took Game Art and Design up to Masters level at uni, and has been rambling about games, tech and science—rather sarcastically—for four years since. She can be found admiring technological advancements, scrambling for scintillating Raspberry Pi projects, preaching cybersecurity awareness, sighing over semiconductors, and gawping at the latest GPU upgrades. Right now she's waiting patiently for her chance to upload her consciousness into the cloud.