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 full specs for the COLORFUL SL500 Mini are as follows:
|Model||SL500 250GB||SL500 500GB|
|NAND||3D NAND||3D NAND|
|Interface||SATA III 6Gbps||SATA III 6Gbps|
|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.