SK Hynix develops PCB01 for artificial intelligence PCs

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SK Hynix Inc. (or "the company") announced today that it developed PCB01, an SSD product with the industry's best specifications, for on-device AI* PCs.

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*On-device AI: a technology that implements AI functions on the device itself, instead of going through computation by a physically separated server. A smartphone's direct collection and computation of information allows fast reactions of the AI performance while promising an improved customized AI service.

The product marks the first case where the industry adopts the fifth generation of the 8-channel** PCIe*** technology and brings innovation to performance including the data processing speed.

**Channel: a route for the input/output of data between a NAND flash and a controller on the SSD. An increase in the number of channels leads to the advancement of the PCIe to the next generations and an improvement in the data processing speed. A 4-channel SSD is typically adopted for conventional PCs, while an 8-channel SSD is for high-performance PCs.

***Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCle): a serial-structured, high-speed input/output interface used on the motherboard of digital devices

The company expects the latest advancement in the NAND solution space to add to its success stories in the high-performance DRAM area led by HBM, enhancing its leadership in the overall AI memory space.

With a validation process with a global PC customer underway, SK Hynix plans to mass produce and start shipping the products to corporate customers and general consumers this year.

PCB01 comes with the capabilities of sequential read and write speeds of 14GB and 12GB per second, respectively, bringing the performance of an SSD to a level unseen before. The speeds allow the operation of a large language model****, or LLM, for AI training and inference, in a second.

****Large language model (LLM): a language model trained on vast amounts of data, which is essential for the performance of generative AI tasks such as creating, summarizing, and translating texts

The product also comes with an improvement in power efficiency of more than 30% compared with the previous generation, enhancing the stability of large-scale AI computing tasks.

SK Hynix also adopted the SLC***** caching for the production of PCB01. With the adoption of the technology that places the single-level cell, or SLC, in some parts of the NAND cell to accelerate performance, a PC user can experience a faster performance for both AI services and conventional computing.

*****Single-level cell (SLC): a type of memory cell used in NAND flash that stores one bit of data in a single cell. As the amount of data stored increases, the memory cell becomes a multi-level cell (MLC), a triple-level cell (TLC), and a quad-level cell (QLC). An increase in data storage means more data can be stored in the same area, but the speed and stability decrease. An SLC enables faster processing of selected data.

The product is also equipped with the capability aimed at protecting personal data. SK Hynix engineers built the root of trust, or ROT******, a security solution, in the PCB01 to prevent external cybersecurity attacks and forging and falsification of information, while protecting a user's password.

******Root of Trust (RoT): an area of the hardware that can always be trusted in terms of security, while enabling the prevention of forging and falsification of information

The company plans to launch PCB01 in three capacities – 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB.

Ahn Hyun, Head of the N-S Committee at SK Hynix, said numerous global providers of CPUs for on-device AI PCs are requesting collaboration for the compatibility validation process. "We will work towards enhancing our leadership as the global top AI memory provider also in the NAND solution space by successfully completing the customer validation and mass production of PCB01, which will be in the limelight."

SK hynix develops PCB01

SK Hynix develops PCB01