Western Digital has a history of showcasing cutting-edge technological advancements in the consumer electronics space at CES every year. In 2019, a 4TB thumb drive was demonstrated, and this year, we have a 8TB portable SSD with a USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 interface.

As QLC flash becomes more common-place, and the number of layers in 3D NAND keeps increasing, it becomes economically feasible to produce high-capacity compact flash storage devices. In fact, WD presented details of 128L BiCS 5 production wafers at ISSC 2019, though it is not clear if the 8TB prototype being demonstrated at CES 2020 utilizes BiCS 5 flash. In any case, given the size of the prototype (similar to the SanDisk Extreme Pro Portable SSDs already in the market), even BiCS 4 TLC (96L 3D NAND) flash is enough. The choice of TLC or QLC would boil down to economics, and given that this is a techonology demonstration prototype, there is no pricing aspect to consider.

WD also announced some products with retail availability at the show. The SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive Luxe USB Type-C is a 1TB thumb drive that comes with a Type-C male port and a Type-A female port. It is compact enough to fit in a keychain and will be available in late Q1 2020. Pricing has not been announced.

The WD_BLACK line of external storage solutions targeting gamers is also being showcased. The lineup includes the WD_BLACK P50 (one of the first external SSDs to feature a USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 20 Gbps interface), the WD_BLACK P10 (external bus-powered 2.5" hard drive in 1TB, 3TB, and 5TB capacities), and the WD_BLACK D10 (external 8TB 3.5" 7200 RPM hard drive with a USB 2.0 hub). The P10 and D10 also come in Xbox-branded variants.

The SanDisk ibi photo management device (a cloud-based service with local storage) is also being demonstrated in WD's CES suite.

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  • Valantar - Tuesday, January 7, 2020 - link

    "Why lose _some_ of your data when you can lose _all_ of your data in one go? Get the new 1TB SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive Luxe USB Type-C today (and lose it tomorrow)!"

    Also, seven words in a product name not including any meaningful specs is ... a bit much.
    Reply
  • s.yu - Wednesday, January 8, 2020 - link

    Indeed, that's the fate of my previous two thumb drives. Recently I just use an SD card, which is usually stored in a much larger device much harder to lose, but that has its inconveniences, and will only become more inconvenient as people opt for smaller laptops without the full size SD reader. Reply

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