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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  • Xajel - Tuesday, January 7, 2020 - link

    "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."

    You mean "... and a Type-A male port."
    Reply
  • s.yu - Tuesday, January 7, 2020 - link

    No, it's clear from the render that it's a female port, though I struggle to see the reasoning behind it. Reply
  • Xajel - Tuesday, January 7, 2020 - link

    Nope, it's just too dark to see in that small picture..

    Of course other pictures and information in the product page clearly indicates it's a male port.

    The full size official picture
    https://shop.westerndigital.com//content/dam/store...
    Reply
  • Santoval - Tuesday, January 7, 2020 - link

    Your linked picture also shows (the same) female USB-A port. What's too dark exactly? That rendering is lit perfectly and there is no ambiguity. It's not small either. Did the article had a smaller and darker picture of the thumb drive earlier? Reply
  • ganeshts - Tuesday, January 7, 2020 - link

    Apologies, guys. The picture does look like a female port, but, after looking at the earlier products in this line, it appears that it is indeed a male port. I have fixed the article text. Reply
  • TheSkullCaveIsADarkPlace - Tuesday, January 7, 2020 - link

    You say there is no ambiguity in the picture? What the hell are you smoking? Have you ever seen a USB type-A receptacle (female) and plug (male)? From the persective provided by picture alone(!) it would be impossible to tell whether it is a receptacle or a plug. This is the very definition of ambiguity.

    But, there is a rather easy way to resolve this ambiguity by simply considering what that thing in the picture is: a USB stick. Now, tell, what would make more sense on a USB stick: a plug (male) or a port/receptacle (female)?
    Reply
  • TheSkullCaveIsADarkPlace - Tuesday, January 7, 2020 - link

    Okay. I retract my statement about ambiguity in the picture. I was dead wrong about that.. There is no ambiguity in the picture with regard to the USB type-A plug whatsoever. I agree in this respect with Santoval.

    After some fiddling with the contrast levels, it becomes rather clear that it is a male plug. Yeah, while there is no amibuity, the picture unambiguously shows a male USB plug. No female receptacle in sight: https://imgur.com/suwk77h
    Reply
  • TheSkullCaveIsADarkPlace - Tuesday, January 7, 2020 - link

    "Amibuity"? Fingers, why don't you listen to my brain? Reply
  • s.yu - Wednesday, January 8, 2020 - link

    lol, I realize that it does make sense as a male port now, though it's practically impossible to tell without a female port side by side. Reply
  • PeachNCream - Tuesday, January 7, 2020 - link

    I love that your comment inspired a string of nerd rage over port gender. People find some crazy stuff to get excited about. Reply

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