Toshiba reveals XL-Flash 3D NAND to compete with Optane

Toshiba reveals XL-Flash 3D NAND to compete with Optane

Toshiba reveals XL-Flash 3D NAND to compete with Optane

Intel/Micron’s Optane/XPoint memory is transformative for the industry on several levels, delivering end users high-performance levels at low queue depths, insanely low read/write latencies and characteristics that place the memory between traditional NAND and DRAM in terms of general performance. 

The downsides of Optane/XPoint is that the memory itself is incredibly expensive, with an Intel Optane 280 GB XPoint SSD costing £229.99 in the UK, while Intel’s new NAND-based 660p M.2 NVMe SSD is set to cost $200 (£185ish inc. VAT). This disparity in pricing showcases why Optane Adoption is low, and why Intel’s competition plans to combat Optane with superior NAND instead of a new Optane-like standard. 

At the Flash Memory Summit, Toshiba has announced their new XL-Flash memory, an evolution of their BiCS 3D Flash technology that is designed to offer lower read latencies and provide better scalability than new NAND types like Optane. 

Toshiba claims that this new memory type will be able to offer read latencies that are ten times lower than TLC-based devices while also delivering more Random IOPS and increased performance at low queue depths. In short, Toshiba is bringing some of Optane’s most sought-after characteristics into their NAND technology. 

XL-Flash is currently based on SLC (Single-Level-Cell) flash technology, though Toshiba plans to create MLC (Multi-Level-Cell) versions in the future. Toshiba’s new NAND also used shorter bit lanes and has developed built their XL-Flash memory to have more memory planes than what is available on standard 2D and 3D NAND types. 


Toshiba reveals XL-Flash 3D NAND to compete with Optane(Image from Anandtech)

At this time, Toshiba has not specified the pricing or capacities of their new XL-Flash NAND, though it is clear that the company sees a future where they will need Optane-like performance within the enterprise and datacenter markets, areas where NAND latency can slow down user workflow. 

You can join the discussion on Toshiba’s XL-Flash 3D NAND on the OC3D Forums.