a colorful sl500 mini sata ssd, annotated showing the depth of just 26mm

Colorful Technology Company Limited have launched the SL500 Mini, a new SATA SSD. Normally this would barely be worth a mention, but the COLORFUL SL500 Mini has something special about it: it’s tiny. Based on Longsys SDP (SATA Disk in Package) technology, the SL500 Mini packs standard SATA connectors and up to 500GB of storage into a 68x26x7mm drive. This is comparable to the size of M.2 drives.

Meet the COLORFUL SL500 Mini

Back in 2017, Chinese company Longsys began promoting their SATA Disk in Package technology. While SSDs traditionally use separate components on a PCB, SDP combines the controller, storage and memory. By combining the parts into a single package, Longsys are looking to solve logistical issues. The tiny, light packages can be economically shipped by air, reducing concern over price fluctuations. In addition, an SDP module counts as a “component” – making it easier to set up “manufacturing” in countries with high import tariffs on finished goods.

This is all well and good, but never mind logistics – an SDP is a tiny SATA SSD. Instead of putting it in a 2.5″ case, why not put it in a tiny case? This, in a nutshell, is what COLORFUL have done. Longsys take their own custom controller, 128GB/chip Micron QLC flash, and combine it with supporting infrastructure into one package. COLORFUL add the slender case. The result is 26% the size of a standard 2.5″ SSD, lower power than a standard SSD, and weighs a mere two grams. The pitch here is for SFF systems, industrial applications, and laptops – presumably those where M.2 isn’t an option.

The SDP internals of an SL500 Mini (right), next to those of a typical 2.5″ SATA SSD

The full specs for the COLORFUL SL500 Mini are as follows:

Model SL500 250GB SL500 500GB
Write Speed 500MB/s 500MB/s
Read Speed 450MB/s 480MB/s
Interface SATA III 6Gbps SATA III 6Gbps
Dimensions 68x26x7mm 68x26x7mm
Weight 2g 2g
Price (MSRP, US$) $39.99 $59.99

We should note that while Longsys have mentioned the use of Micron QLC flash, the press release we have from COLORFUL doesn’t specify. The SSD market being what it is, the exact flash used is presumably subject to change.

The COLORFUL SL500 Mini series SSDs are expected to arrive at retail Q1 2021 – that is, soon.


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