Toshiba unveils new micro NVMe SSD
Many electronic products use soldered BGA SSD based on their internal design and shape, but it's not easy for users to replace the hard disk themselves. At the same time, considering the speed, more and more users choose NVMe SSD, which is also not available for welding disk devices. The good news is that at the flash summit on August 7th Toshiba unveiled a new design for NVMe SSD, a BGA-like NVMe solid-state drive which is so small that can be used to replace a solded hard drive.
Smaller than the m. 2 Solid State Drive (SSD)
Users should be aware that m.2 SSD is very small, very thin and much longer than 2.5-inch drives. Toshiba's new XFMEXPRESS SSD supports dual-channel or four-channel PCIe and is no different in speed compared with a regular m.2 SSD. The new XFMEXPRESS dimensions allow for two or four PCIe channels while taking up less space than the smallest m.2 SSD (size: 22x30mm). A XFMEXPRESS SSD measures 18x14x1.4 mm, which is a bit larger and thicker than the microSD card. The area is up to 22.2x17.75x2.2mm. By contrast, the BGA SSD comes in standard sizes of 11.5x13mm, PCIe x2 SSD is 16x20mm.
Toshiba's new SSD looks a lot like a microSD card, but it's actually bigger and thicker than microSD card. It is not easy for users who have already used BGA SSD to replace them, but they can consider replacing BGA SSD with Toshiba's new hard disk when needing to be maintained.
XFMexpress is intended to benefit interchangeable storage devices that typically use BGA SSD or EMMC and UFS modules.
For consumer devices, it opens the way for capacity upgrades in the aftermarket. For embedded devices requiring maintenance, this offers for a smaller overall size.
This opens the way for capacity upgrades in the aftermarket for consumer devices and allows for smaller overall sizes for embedded devices that need servicing. Equipment manufacturers also gain some supply chain flexibility because storage capacity can be adjusted later in the assembly process. Equipment manufacturers also gain some supply chain flexibility because storage capacity can be adjusted later in the assembly process.
Toshiba doesn't plan to use it as external storage
Given its very small size and support for dedicated connectors, can XFMEXPRESS SSD be invoked as an external storage device?
The answer is no. Although, this is theoretically possible, Toshiba has said it does not plan to use such solid-state drives as pluggable storage.
XFMexpress is not intended to be an externally accessible slot, such as an SD card; when the XFMexpress SSD swapped out, the shell of the device it installed on need to be opened. But unlike the m.2 SSD, the XFMexpress slot and retention mechanism does not require tools.
XFMEXPRESS is expecting to have similar performance to BGA SSD. The PCIe x4 host interface is usually not a bottleneck, especially in the near future when BGA SSD starts to adopt PCIe gen4, which is supported by the XFMEXPRESS connector. In addition, heat dissipation is a big problem for small volume SSD. Toshiba says it relies on metal housing the hard disk's external connector installed on for heat dissipation. In contrast, these small SSDS are often constrained in aspect of heat, and the XFMEXPRESS connector is designed to use the metal cover to act as a radiator for heat dissipation easily.
Toshiba cooperated with JAE to develop and manufacture XFMEXPRESS connectors.