Toshiba XG6 NVMe SSD Review: BiCS Flash Puts Up 3GB/Sec Performance

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Toshiba XG6 NVMe M.2 SSD: All You Need To Know

Toshiba has released a string of top-notch, affordable NVMe solid state drives over the last couple of years featuring its BiCS flash memory technology, which target a wide array of market segments. We’ve shown you a few recently, like the diminutive, affordable OCZ RC100 and the mainstream OEM targeted, XG5. Today, Toshiba is redoubling its efforts in the OEM segment with yet another new client NVMe drive, the XG6.
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We first posted news of the XG6 a few weeks back – if you’d like to check out the initial announcement, it is available right here. Like the XG5, this new drive is optimized for consumer desktop and mobile computing applications and it features Toshiba’s latest BiCS, or Bit Cost Scalable flash memory. BiCS employs a three-dimensional (3D) stacked cell structure designed for high density applications, and also offers higher endurance than typical 3D NAND flash memory. And because three pages of memory can be programmed simultaneously, BiCS 3D flash memory is technically capable of higher performance as well, in the right configuration. The structure of the new 96-layer BiCS 3D flash memory allows Toshiba to increase capacity per unit chip size by 40 percent versus its 64-layer designs, while saving power too. Take a look...

Toshiba XG6 NVMe Solid State Drives
Specifications & Features
Capacities: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
Flash Memory Type: 96-layer 3D BiCS FLASH (TLC)
Interface: PCIe Rev. 3.1a Gen3 x 4L / NVMe Rev. 1.3a
Form Factor: M.2 2280 (22mm X 80mm) single sided
Sequential Read: Up to 3200 MB/s
Sequential Write: Up to 3000 MB/s
Random Read: Up to 355K IOPS
Random Write: Up to 365K IOPS
Active Read Power: < 4.5 W typical
Active Write Power: < 4.7 W typical
L1.2 Power: < 3 mW typical
Security: TCG Pyrite and OPAL 2.01 (Optional)
MTBF: 1,500,000 hours
Operating Temperatures: 0 to 95'C (controller), 0 to 85'C (other components)
Non-Operating Temps: -40 to 85'C
Warranty: 5 years

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As you can see in the table above, the Toshiba Client NVMe XG6 has some nice specifications. The drives conform to the standard M.2 2280 "gumstick" form factor and offer sequential read and write performance of up to 3.2GB/s and 3GB/s, respectively, over a PCIe 3 x4 interface. As we'll show you a little later, under some conditions, we realized performance can actually be higher.
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Typical read power is under 4.5W, while low-power L1.2 mode comes in at under 3mW. The MTTF is 1.5 million hours and the drives support the TCG Pyrite and OPAL 2.01 (optional) security standards. Save for a few traces and some markings, the back-side of the XG6’s PCB is totally clean and devoid of any components.
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The front-side of the XG6 is where all of the action is. On this 1TB drive, there are two BiCS memory chips paired to a Toshiba controller, and a piece of DRAM cache. We’re told, however, that all of the drives in the line-up will be single-sided and used two packages, the number of die stacks change based on capacity, however.
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Toshiba XG6 solid state drives will initially be available in capacities up to 1TB and will target a variety of systems, from mainstream PCs, to thin and light notebooks, enthusiast-class desktops, and laptops. We should point out, however, that the drives will not be sold at retail (at least initially). These drives are destined for OEMs and system builders at this time, though it’s possible that consumer versions featuring similar technology may be coming down the pipeline -- we don't have any official details we can disclose at this time, though.
Tags:  SSD, Storage, Toshiba, nvme, bics, xg6

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