Kioxia's Developing PCIe 5.0-Ready SSDs With New E3.S Form Factor

2020-07-01

Kioxia America, previously Toshiba Memory America, has taken the wraps off new SSDs that target the enterprise and datacenter SSD form factor (EDSFF) market. Kioxia's demo announced today plays with brand new form factors under the EDSFF umbrella that seek to maximize the density and efficiency inside a system while enabling a simpler installation process. 

EDSFF is the perfect medium to maximize density and efficiency inside a system. The EDSFF drives are also easy to deploy. Kioxia firmly believes that the EDSFF E3.Short (E3.S) and E3.Long (E3.L) form factors are the future of storage for servers and all-flash arrays, whether they be in a cloud or data center environment.

The EDSFF E3.S and E3.L form factors enable a higher power budget in comparison to the conventional 2.5-inch form factor. The aforementioned formats support up to 40W and are ready to exploit the level of performance that the forthcoming 5.0 interface will bring to the table. Additionally, the drives come with a better thermal dissipation outfit to tackle the heat.

Today, Kioxia announced development of E3.S SSDs that connect to the host system through a standard connector PCIe interface, just like common NVMe ,  or network interface cards.

 Adhering to the E3.S thing standard, the drives measure 104.9mm long and 76mm wide with a 7.5mm thickness. Kioxia hasn't branded the SSDs and didn't offer any performance numbers. The label suggests they have a capacity of 3.84TB.

"Additional E3 size and width options will also be supported, including E3.S thick (16.8mm) and E3.L thin," Kioxia said in its announcement. 

According to the manufacturer, the unnamed E3.S SSDs leverage up to eight PCIe 4.0 lanes with a power target of 28W. The E3.S drives utilize the same core components as Kioxia's recent CM6 PCIe 4.0 SSDs that landed in February. With that in mind, the E3.S units should be have a Kioxia 18-channel controller that's escorted by the brand's own 96-layer 3D TLC NAND chips. 

The CM6 series deliver sequential read and write speeds up to 6,200 MBps and 4,000 MBps, respectively. Random performance tops out at 1.4 million IOPS reads and 350,000 IOPs writes. However, CM6 drives consume four PCIe 4.0 lanes, and the E3.S drives are configured for up to eight. It's reasonable to expect they'll deliver around twice the performance.