Toshiba BG3 SSDs fit 512 GB in 3.2 cm²

— 12:30 PM on August 3, 2017

That Toshiba XG5 is a pretty nice SSD, eh? Toshiba's storage division has been knocking it out of the park lately. That group has another new product to announce, and even though it's not nearly as flashy as the XG5, it's pretty exciting for entirely another reason. The Toshiba BG3 is the company's latest release in its BG family of low-cost SSDs, and it packs up to 512GB of 64-layer BiCS TLC flash memory onto a 30-mm-long M.2 card.

These drives are DRAM-less, which means their performance probably isn't going to approach that of drives like the XG5. However, the BG3s are thoroughly modern devices with support for the NVMe 1.2.1 protocol and a PCIe 3.0 x2 connection. Toshiba says the BG3 can read data at up to 1520 MB/s sequentially and write it back at 840MB/s. Those numbers are up pretty significantly from the BG2's figures of 950 MB/s for sequential reads and 400 MB/s for writes. The company doesn't offer any random access performance figures, but it does say that the BG3 supports an SLC cache mode that should help with those operations.

Since the BG3s have the flash memory and its controller all in one package, Toshiba will also sell you the BG3 in BGA form. The BG3's DRAM-less nature could mean that these drives come in at affordable prices. Toshiba says it's targeting the BG3 series at low-end and low-cost devices, and emphasizes that the drives save space and power compared to hard drives, while being far faster. Since the single-package BGA version is just 1.3 mm in height, the BG3 could feasibly find its way into positively petite portable 'puters. I just hope we start seeing these in entry-level laptops rather than 4200-RPM 500 GB hard drives.

Just don't expect these drives to show up at Newegg anytime soon, since Toshiba primarily targets them at OEMs. The company didn't reveal pricing, though it did say that prices will be similar to SATA drives of the same capacity.

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