Of course, the miners of Chia cryptocurrency are behind the development.
After mainly Chinese cryptographers have been buying a large number of SSDs and hard drives for the industry for several weeks, the next period of the consumer storage market may see long-term product shortages. The reason is that the Chia cryptocurrency, which has just become popular, requires huge storage capacity rather than high computing power for its mining.
At first, this seemed like good news for SSD manufacturers, because they usually don’t care who bought their entire inventory in record time, but the situation is more subtle because Chia’s mining involves extreme disk loads. SSDs for the consumer market will be overwhelmed by mining in a few weeks. Manufacturers worry that miners will try to mass produce and file warranty replacement claims, even if the equipment failure is caused by its atypical use.
For this reason, PNY is the first AnnounceSignificantly reduce the TBW of many of its drives by 55-79%, depending on the capacity of the popular XLR8 CS3030 model. According to the manufacturer, this value shows how many terabytes of data can be written during the life of the drive.
The SSD warranty is provided when the TBW value is reached or after a certain number of years (whichever comes first).
TBW changes of PNY XLR8 CS3030 storage pool:
- 250 GB: 380 TB → 170 TB (-55%)
- 500 GB: 800 TB → 170 TB (-79%)
- 1000 GB: 1,665 TB → 360 TB (-78%)
- 2000 GB: 3,115 TB → 660 TB (-79%)
According to PNY, this change will not affect the true target audience of the drive, because with a few exceptions, they will reach the end of the warranty within a few years, and then write the roughly reduced amount of data to the backup storage. The new TBW value is applicable to XLR8 CS3030 models purchased from May 17, 2021, and the original TBW value can be guaranteed for the previous purchase.
It is not clear which other manufacturers will follow in the footsteps of PNY, but it is not surprising if the threat posed by Chia miners will reduce the TBW of their products.
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