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WD introduces the first 64-layer NAND solid-state drives

Both drives are slated to ship later this year with up to 2 terabytes of storage space.

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The new 64-layer 3D NAND solid-state drives from WD.

WD

WD on Monday unveiled its latest solid-state drives for consumers, the WD Blue 3D NAND SATA SSD and the SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD. Both use 3D NAND technology.

3D NAND, where the drive's flash memory cells are stacked up in multiple layers, was first introduced with the Samsung 850 Pro, allowing for significantly more cells in the same number of wafer bits. This greatly increases the density and means, among other things, making it possible to have more storage space for less cost.

Existing solid-state drives -- including the Samsung 850 Pro ($348.89 at Amazon.com), Samsung 850 Evo and the Crucial MX300 -- use 32-layer 3D NAND. WD's new SSDs, however, are the first built with 64-layer 3D NAND, further reducing the cost.

According to WD, both drives will be available in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities in the standard 2.5-inch configuration. The WD Blue will also come in the M.2 2280 form factor. Both drives are slated to deliver up to 560 megabytes per second and 530MBps of sequential read and write speeds, respectively. And both share the same pricing. They start at $99.99 (roughly £78 or AU$130) and include a three-year warranty.

There seem to be just minor differences between the two drives. According to the company, the WD Blue is designed for system builders and general computing, whereas the SanDisk Ultra is aimed at gamers and creative enthusiasts. Both drives are slated to ship in the third quarter of this year.