Storage class memory solution to reduce latency

6th August 2019
Lanna Cooper


Toshiba Memory has announced the launch of a new Storage Class Memory (SCM) solution: XL-FLASH. Based on the company’s innovative BiCS FLASH 3D flash memory technology with 1bit-per-cell SLC, XL-FLASH brings low latency and high performance to data centre and enterprise storage.

Classified as SCM (or persistent memory), with the ability to retain its contents similar to NAND flash memory, XL-FLASH bridges the performance gap that exists between DRAM and NAND. While volatile memory solutions such as DRAM provide the access speed needed by demanding applications, that performance comes at a high cost.

As the cost-per-bit and scalability of DRAM levels off, this new SCM layer in the memory hierarchy addresses that issue with a high density, cost effective, non-volatile NAND flash memory solution. Poised for growth, industry analyst firm IDC estimates the SCM market will reach in excess of $3bn in 2022.

Sitting in between DRAM and NAND flash, XL-FLASH brings increased speed, reduced latency and higher storage capacities - at a lower cost than traditional DRAM. XL-FLASH will initially be deployed in an SSD format but could be expanded to memory channel attached devices that sit on the DRAM bus, such as future industry standard Non-Volatile Dual In-Line Memory Modules (NVDIMMs).

Key features

  • 128 gigabit (Gb) die (in a 2-die, 4-die or 8-die package)
  • 4kB page size for more efficient operating system reads and writes
  • 16-plane architecture for more efficient parallelism
  • Fast page read and programme times XL-FLASH provides a low read latency of less than 5 microseconds, approximately 10 times faster than existing TLC

As the inventor of NAND flash, as well as being the first company to announce 3D flash memory technology and a leader in process migrations, Toshiba Memory is well positioned to deliver SLC-based SCM with mature manufacturing, proven scalability and time-tested SLC reliability.

“XL-FLASH is the highest performing NAND available, thanks to our BiCS FLASH - used in SLC mode,” noted Axel Stoermann, Vice President, Toshiba Memory. “By only storing one-bit per cell, we’re able to greatly increase performance. And, because XL-FLASH is based on proven technologies that we already mass produce, our customers will be able to accelerate time to market with adoption of XL-FLASH as a Storage Class Memory solution.”

Sample shipments will start in September 2019, with mass production expected to begin in 2020. 

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