Toshiba presented during the event of CES 2019, its new NVMe SSDs, the Toshiba BG4, which combines the NAND Flash memory and memory controller in a single chip. In this way, the size of the M.2 unit is very small. Given that the NAND memory used by the new SSD is its new 96-layer 3D TLC memory, it achieves a significant increase in storage size, now reaching up to 1 TB of internal capacity.
Toshiba already introduced its first NVMe SSD model with 96-layer memory, with its Toshiba XG6 model, in the middle of last year. However, the new Toshiba BG4 follows a different path, given that it is capable of condensing the entire storage capacity in very little space. In fact, it follows the same philosophy that we could already see with its Toshiba OCZ RC100 SSD.
The new Toshiba BG4 uses a PCIe x4 connection, which replaces the old PCIe x2 connection used by the old BG3 models of the brand. This gives them a very interesting increase in performance since it opens the door to higher I/O performance in the sequential read and writes operations. In fact, according to the demonstration that Toshiba had in its CES pavilion, random operations have doubled compared to the previous generation, the Toshiba BG3.
The driver of the Toshiba BG4 does not use RAM inside it
To reduce the size of the unit, Toshiba has chosen to use a NAND Flash memory controller that lacks internal RAM and uses the Host Memory Buffer (HMB) to try to mitigate the performance penalties that usually come with this type of driver without RAM. The manufacturer has reinforced the use of the HMB, adding error parity correction, allowing an additional layer of security for the stored data.
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The specifications of the new Toshiba SSDs are quite interesting. While it is true that these new units are not able to take full advantage of all the performance that is capable of providing the PCIe x4 bus they have at their disposal, their transfer speeds are quite good. But, above all, the speed of its random reading and writing is really impressive for such a small size units. Talking about the size, the Toshiba BG4 uses the size M.2 2230. This size is much smaller than the usual M.2 SSDs, which usually has a size of 2280.