Industry’s first SSD using 96-layer 3D flash memory

10th August 2018
Alex Lynn

Toshiba Electronics Europe has introduced a new lineup of solid state drives (SSDs) that are based on its 96-layer, BiCS FLASH 3D flash memory. Reportedly the first SSD to use this technology, the new XG6 series is targeted to the client PC, high performance mobile, embedded, and gaming segments, as well as datacentre environments for boot drives in servers, caching and logging, and commodity storage. 

As the inventor of flash memory and the first to introduce the concept of 3D flash memory, Toshiba Memory is driven to continually push the boundaries of what is possible, and move the technology forward. Its three bit-per-cell (triple-level cell, TLC) BiCS FLASH technology improves the performance, density and efficiency of SSDs. And its innovative 96-layer stacking process combines with advanced circuit and manufacturing technology to achieve a capacity increase of approximately 40% per unit chip size over 64-layer 3D flash memory.

Paul Rowan, Vice President for the SSD business unit of Toshiba Memory Europe, commented: “The introduction of the XG6 series paves the way for Toshiba client, datacentre and enterprise SSDs to migrate to 96-layer technology. Ideal for client, embedded and datacentre use cases, the new XG6 NVMe SSD series are versatile drives with capacity options of up to 1tb and optimised controller design for greater performance and power efficiency. Toshiba Memory is at the forefront of 3D flash memory development with 96-layer BiCS FLASH.”

The new XG6 series is available in an M.2 2280 single sided form factor and supports PCI Express Generation three by four lane and NVM Express revision 1.3a. A powerful combination of efficiency and performance is a hallmark of the XG6 series, which consumes 4.7W or less of power and reaches up to 3,180MB/sec of sequential read and nearly 3,000MB/sec of sequential write, and up to 355,000 random read and 365,000 random write IOPS. Achieved by optimising SoCs, the sequential write performance of the XG6 series leads the industry. 

Additional features include:

  • Security: Pyrite or self-encrypting drive models supporting TCG Opal Version 2.01, as well as support for block SID and digital signature.
  • Support for user-selectable over provisioning feature through NVMe command.
  • Top-of-the-class sequential performance (client class).
  • Enhanced SLC buffer to improve drive performance for client workloads.

Greg Wong, Founder and Principal Analyst of Forward Insights, added: “The industry continues to transition to higher densities of 3D flash technology, with 3D NAND petabytes growing at a CAGR of 75% out to 2022. The introduction of 96-layer is an important milestone for flash to meet the increasing demand for faster and denser storage.”

Well suited to a wide range of read intensive applications that prioritise power efficiency, burst performance and a compact footprint, the XG6 series will be available in capacities of 256, 512 and 1,024GB. The new SSDs are currently sampling to select OEM customers.

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