Toshiba Offers Tiny Alternative to Soldered-Down SSDs

From PC Mag: The continued push for thinner and lighter laptops has seen more of the components they use become non-removable. However, Toshiba is set to offer a tiny alternative to the soldered-down BGA SSDs that have become common by introducing a new storage form factor.

As AnandTech reports, at the Flash Memory Summit being held in the Santa Clara Convention Center this week, Toshiba unveiled a new form factor for NVMe SSDs developed with the aid of Japan Aviation Electronics Industry Ltd. (JAE). It's called XFMEXPRESS and the cards it uses are just 18-by-14-by-1.4mm in size, which is slightly larger than a microSD card. More importantly, it's much smaller than the M.2 NVMe SSDs we rely on today for replaceable storage in laptops.

Each XFMEXPRESS SSD can utilize two or four PCIe lanes and includes support for the 16GT/s PCIe 4.0 interface, which means storage speed won't be an issue. The reason why XFMEXPRESS is sure to be popular is the fact it's replaceable. It uses a connector that's similar to the one used for CPUs, with a locking metal cover (which doubles as a heat spreader) that lifts up to slide the SSD inside. The cards won't be accessible like a microSD slot, but removing the casing from a laptop will give access to them.

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