SK Hynix Unveils PCB01 SSD With Blistering 14GB/s Bandwidth For AI PCs

hero sk hynix pcb 01 ssd
If you want a PCIe 5.0 SSD right now, your options are basically limited to drives based on Phison's potent E26 controller. We like Phison around here, but from a consumer perspective, it's always good to have competition. That's why we're excited about SK hynix's new PCB01 SSD -- it's a lightning-fast PCIe 5.0 drive sporting brand-new home-spun controller technology.

SK hynix says that the PCB01 is "an SSD product with the industry's best specifications for on-device AI PCs." What the company is talking about is that the extremely high storage throughput offered by the PCB01 allows applications to load large AI models in literally one second. That's because the PCB01 is capable of transfer rates as high as 14GB/second on reads and 12GB/second on writes, according to the manufacturer.

With those kinds of speeds, you really can slam a big diffuser model like SDXL into your system RAM in one second. Even massive language models like Llama 2-70B, which comes in around 130GB, will load in just the time it takes for you to take a sip of coffee. In that sense, these really are SSDs made for AI PCs—although we suspect the overwhelming majority of buyers will instead appreciate the ability to move around large files like 8K video capture or game installs.


In terms of the hardware, this drive appears to be the B2B version of the next-gen P51 Platinum SSD that SK hynix was showing at Computex. We didn't get a chance to hit hynix's booth, but many others did and noted that the memory maker was touting speeds of 13.5 GB/second reads and 11.5GB/second writes for that drive. It's possible that the PCB01 is simply clocked higher or perhaps that hynix has made some optimizations to the controller firmware or SSD design between now and then.

Whatever the case, PCIe 5.0 SSDs haven't seen mass adoption among PC builders because they present a few different challenges to system integrators and DIY-ers alike. High power draw, difficult thermals, expensive pricing, and a lack of a pressing need for this kind of storage speed are all reasons to stick with tried and true PCIe 4.0 drives. SK hynix isn't talking pricing for the PCB01, but don't expect it to come cheap.