Single package SSDs reduce size of IoT devices

8th August 2017
Alice Matthews

Based on its latest 64 layer, 3-bit-per-cell TLC (triple-level cell) BiCS FLASH, Toshiba Electronics Europe has announced the availability of the BG3 series, its next-gen single-package ball grid array (BGA) solid state drive (SSD) product line. Designed to fuel the future of mobile devices, Toshiba claims that the BG3 SSDs deliver better performance and a smaller footprint than traditional SATA-based drives.

Moreover, with its cost-effective DRAM-less design, the BG3 series enables a high quality user experience at a fraction of the power requirement of other NVM Express (NVMe) SSDs.

Toshiba’s BG3 series leverages the Host Memory Buffer (HMB) feature in NVMe Revision 1.2.1 to maintain high performance without integrated DRAM by using host memory for flash management purposes. This powerful combination allows devices to harness the performance of NVMe storage while maximising footprint and affordability to deliver a next-gen mobile experience to end users. Both fast and economical, these miniaturised SSDs also offer data centre and enterprise applications an alternative solution for server boot storage.

With style and portability top of mind for today’s laptop and tablet manufacturers, the BG3 series was designed specifically to enable even slimmer and more power efficient devices. By eliminating DRAM from its design, Toshiba’s BG3 series offers what it claims to be the world’s thinnest SSDs available at just 1.3mm high and delivers lower power consumption to maximise battery life.

Toshiba BG3 SSDs are small in size but not performance. Featuring a PCI Express (PCIe) Gen3 x2 lane and NVMe Revision 1.2.1 architecture, BG3 delivers to up to 1520 MB/s sequential read, 2.7 times the theoretical maximum bandwidth of SATA 6Gbit/s and up to 840MB/s sequential write, 1.5 times the theoretical maximum bandwidth of SATA 6Gbit/s. Additionally, BG3 also features SLC cache for performance to accelerate burst type workloads, such as those routinely experienced on Windows-based PCs.

The ultra-compact BG3 series is available in 128, 256, and 512GB capacities. All three models are available in a surface-mount BGA (M.2 1620) or a removable module (M.2 2230) form factor for platform design flexibility.

"Toshiba’s third generation BG SSDs are ideal for mobile and IoT computing and data centre use alike," said Paul Rowan, General Manager at Toshiba Electronics Europe, SSD Business Unit. "Especially in data centres the deployment of BG3 can greatly reduce both capital and operation expenses as the new BG3 series bridges the power and price gap between enterprise SATA and mainstream client NVMe SSDs while still providing boot storage with improved power consumption and compact footprint," he concluded.

BG3’s single-package design features a Toshiba-developed controller and firmware, tightly integrated with Toshiba Flash memory and is optimised for performance, low power, and reliability. To address modern security needs, self-encrypting drive options (SED) with TCG Opal Version 2.01 are available.

The BG3 series is sampling to customers and will be demonstrated at the Flash Memory Summit 2017 in Santa Clara, CA, USA, from 8th to 10th August in booth 407.

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