Toshiba Memory has announced a line-up of SSDs based on a crop of new, 96-layer Bit Cost Scalable (BiCS) 3D NAND chips.

The XG6 product family offers 40 percent more density than devices built with previous generation 64-layer silicon, along with lower power consumption and NVMe connectivity.

XG6 SSDs in a compact M2 form-factor will enter mass production in 2019 and will be available in capacities of 256GB, 512GB and 1TB.

“The introduction of 96-layer is an important milestone for flash to meet the increasing demand for faster and denser storage,” commented Greg Wong, founder and principal analyst of Forward Insights.

Business as usual

Flash memory was originally invented at Toshiba in the 1980s, and released to the market in 1984. But the Japanese conglomerate was forced to make sacrifices to survive the recent crisis caused by its nuclear reactor division, and in April 2017, Toshiba Memory Corporation was separated from the rest of the company.

In June 2018, most of this new entity was acquired by a consortium that included Bain Capital, Apple, SK Hynix, Dell, and Seagate Technology, for approximately $18 billion. Toshiba retained a 40 percent stake in the business.

Toshiba Memory Corporation continues developing high performance storage devices for both consumer and enterprise market segments. Its latest product line is the first to be based on proprietary 96-layer BiCS flash chips.

XG6 series SSDs are aimed at consumer devices, as well as data center environments - for boot drives in servers, caching and logging, and commodity storage. They use TLC flash, storing three bits per cell, which offers less capacity but more longevity than QLC flash used by some of Toshiba’s competitors.

According to the company, SSDs based on the new chips deliver up to 3,180MB/sec of sequential read and nearly 3,000MB/sec of sequential write performance, and up to 355,000 random read and 365,000 random write IOPS.

“Toshiba Memory is at the forefront of 3D flash memory development with 96-layer BiCS FLASH. SSDs pose the most formidable flash design challenge, and becoming the first company in the world to bring an SSD to market with the most advanced flash node is an achievement that is only possible due to our years of commitment to advancing our SSD technology,” said Jeremy Werner, vice president of SSD marketing and product planning for Toshiba Memory.

The company is currently building a new chip plant in Kitakami, northern Japan, in order to meet future demand for high density flash memory.