Last night we saw WD launch the first client SSDs with 64-layer NAND Flash, but recall that WD/SanDisk is in partnership with Toshiba to produce this new gen 3 BiCS memory, which means Toshiba is also launching their own product wrapped around this new high-density flash:
Enter the Toshiba XG5. It is certainly coming on strong here, as evidenced by the specs:
Unlike the WD/SanDisk launch, the BiCS flash on this Toshiba variant sits behind an NVMe SSD controller, with stated read speeds at 3GB/s and writes just over 2 GB/s. We don't yet have random performance figures, but we expect it to certainly be no slouch given the expected performance of this newest generation of flash memory. Let's take a quick look at some of the high points there:
Alright, so we have the typical things you'd expect, like better power efficiency and higher endurance, but there is a significant entry there under the performance category – 1-shot, full sequence programming. This is a big deal, since writing to flash memory is typically done in stages, with successive program cycles nudging cell voltages closer to their targets with each pass. This takes time and is one of the main things holding back the write speeds of NAND flash. This new BiCS is claimed to be able to successfully write in a single program cycle, which should translate to noticeable improvements in write latency.
Another thing helping with writes is that the XG5 will have its BiCS flash operating in a hybrid mode, meaning these are TLC SSDs with an SLC cache. We do not have confirmed cache sizes to report, but it's a safe bet that they will be similar to competing products.
We don't yet have pricing info, but we do know that the initial capacity offerings will start with 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB offerings. The XG5 is launching in the OEM channel in the second half of 2017. While this one is an OEM product, remember that OCZ is Toshiba's brand for client SSDs, so there's a possibility we may see a retail variant appear under that name in the future.
TOSHIBA UNVEILS NVME SSDS USING 64-LAYER, 3D FLASH MEMORY
New XG5 Series SSDs with BiCS FLASH deliver up to 1TB in a thin and light design to accelerate high performance notebooks and systems
IRVINE, Calif. — May 30, 2017 — Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. (TAEC), ), a committed technology leader, today launched the XG5 series, a new line of NVM Express® (NVMeTM)1 SSDs integrating 64-layer, 3D flash memories, offering up to 1TB2 capacity in a compact M.23 form factor. Starting today, OEM customers will have access to limited quantities of qualification samples with shipments gradually increasing in the second half of 2017.
As the third generation of the popular Toshiba XG Series, XG5 SSDs feature the latest 3-bit-per-cell TLC (triple-level cell) BiCS FLASH™4 and utilize PCI EXPRESS® (PCIe®)5 Gen3 x 4 lanes and NVMe Revision 1.2.1 to deliver extremely high performance up to 3000 MB/s of sequential read and 2100 MB/s of sequential write6. Compared to 6Gbit/s SATA storage, the XG5 Series is up to 5.4 times faster on sequential read performance and up to 3.8 times faster on sequential write performance7 with a maximum interface bandwidth of 32 GT/s.8 Additionally, XG5’s feature-set also features an SLC cache for excellent performance to accelerate burst type workloads, such as those experienced routinely on Windows®9 -based PCs, as well as improved standby power consumption reduced by over 50%10 to less than 3mW11, making these SSDs an excellent solution for high performance mobile computing.
“We are proud to introduce the first ever NVMe SSD equipped with 64-layer BiCS FLASH technology, and we expect broad adoption from our major PC OEM customer base,” said Jeremy Werner, vice president SSD marketing and product planning at Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. “The XG5 Series demonstrates Toshiba’s ability to deliver a cutting-edge, high performance and low power solution for client PC applications that can also be leveraged as a server or boot drive storage solution.”
XG5 Series SSDs will be available in three capacities, 256GB, 512GB and 1024GB, all on a single-sided M.2 2280 form factor. Self-encrypting drive (SED) models12 supporting TCG Opal Version 2.01 will also be offered, making the XG5 series highly suited to a wide range of applications including ultra-mobile PCs that prioritize performance and business applications requiring security.
The XG5 series SSDs will be showcased at COMPUTEX TAIPEI 2017 in Taipei, Taiwan, from May 30 to June 3.
Toshiba will continue to strengthen its SSD storage solutions, utilizing cutting-edge flash memory technology to meet diverse market needs. For more information on Toshiba’s broad line of storage products, please visit: https://toshiba.semicon-storage.com/us/product/storage-products.html. To learn more about Toshiba’s storage solutions visit the storage blog at http://storage.toshiba.com/corporateblog/ and follow @ToshibaStorage on Twitter.