Storage company HGST demonstrated this weekend at the Flash Memory Summit 2014 in San Jose, California what it calls the “world’s fastest” SSD.

HGST’s new SSD uses a PCIe interface and delivers three million random read IOPS of 512 bytes and random read access times of 1.5ms. Latency was reportedly close to 1us. HGST says this performance is orders of magnitude faster than existing Flash based SSDs.

“The PCM SSD demonstration is a great example for how HGST sets the pace of the rapidly evolving storage industry,” said Steve Campbell, HGST’s Chief Technology Officer, in a release. “This technology is the result of several years of research and advanced development aimed at delivering new levels of acceleration for enterprise applications.”

According to HGST, the memory used in this SSD consists of proprietary Phase Change Memory (PCM) components built on a 45nm process with a capacity of 1 Gb. PCM memory exhibits faster read access times when compared to NAND Flash memory. In order to get such low latency speeds, HGST engineers worked with researchers from the University of California, San Diego to develop a new interface protocol and architecture

“Three million IOPs is exceptional, but that is not the most exciting part of the demonstration,” said Dr. Zvonimir Bandic, HGST’s manager of Storage Architecture is quoted as saying in the press release.. “What is really exciting is to be able to deliver latencies close to 1us for small block random reads. This is something that just cannot be done with NAND Flash and current controller and interface technologies.”

Of course this technology is years, if not a decade away from trickling down to the consumer space. What is exciting though is that this kind of research will spur research and development competition in a market, as the storage market notoriously is, that teeters on a oligopoly.