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PeterBocan

Toshiba Introduces New Tiny NVMe SSD Form Factor

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Posted · Original PosterOP
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At the Flash Memory Summit today, Toshiba introduced a new form factor for NVMe SSDs that is small enough to be a removable alternative to soldered-down BGA SSDs. "The new XFMEXPRESS form factor allows for two or four PCIe lanes while taking up much less space than even the smallest M.2 22x30mm card size," reports AnandTech. "The XFMEXPRESS card size is 18x14x1.4mm, slightly larger and thicker than a microSD card. It mounts into a latching socket that increases the footprint up to 22.2x17.75x2.2mm." 

 

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XFMEXPRESS is intended to bring the benefits of replaceable storage to devices that would normally be stuck with soldered BGA SSDs or eMMC and UFS modules. For consumer devices this opens the way for aftermarket capacity upgrades, and for embedded devices that need to be serviceable this can permit smaller overall dimensions. Device manufacturers also get a bit of supply chain flexibility since storage capacity can be adjusted later in the assembly process. XFMEXPRESS is not intended to be used as an externally-accessible slot like SD cards; swapping out an XFMEXPRESS SSD will require opening up the case of the device it's installed in, though unlike M.2 SSDs the XFMEXPRESS socket and retention mechanism itself is tool-less. 

 

I am actually pretty stoked about this news as some notebook vendors, *cough*Apple*cough*, could stop soldering their SSDs into Motherboards.

 

https://hardware.slashdot.org/story/19/08/06/1911212/toshiba-introduces-new-tiny-nvme-ssd-form-factor

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I'd drop my SSD in my case and never find it ever again if it was that small :P

 


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17 minutes ago, PeterBocan said:

Apple

Just so you know, Apple isn't the only one soldering SSDs to the motherboard.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
2 minutes ago, captain_to_fire said:

Just so you know, Apple isn't the only one soldering SSDs to the motherboard.

Yes, but I own Apple product and I could not say the other brand names.

 

5 minutes ago, Mira Yurizaki said:

It may be good to have something like this, but remember:

standards.png

Agreed, but there's a need for a little advancement.

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Do we REALLY need a smaller nvme drive setups? I recently worked on my younger sister's Dell G3. The internal 256GB m.2 SSD was about the size of a dime. 

 

At this point we're just asking to lose full size SSDs as if they were micro SD cards.

 

I am taking a stand right now that I should not be able to lose an SSD on the floor or in a couch.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 minute ago, rcmaehl said:

Do we REALLY need a smaller nvme drive setups? I recently worked on my younger sister's Dell G3. The internal 256GB m.2 SSD was the size of a dime. 

 

At this point we're just asking to lose full size SSDs as if they were micro SD cards.

 

I am taking a stand right now that I should not be able to lose an SSD on the floor or in a couch.

it may come in handy. Tablets? Cell Phones? IoT devices?

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Seems really cool! However the coverhinge thing looks very fragile/flimsy. A more robust solution with screw(s) would be better.

 

Either way, this is definitely a step in the right direction, as it could make small form-factor motherboards even smaller, as well as allows for packing more features on bigger motherboards!

 

With regards to Apple, they will find a way to either ignore or ruin this.

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11 minutes ago, PeterBocan said:

it may come in handy. Tablets? Cell Phones? IoT devices?

Tablets would be the only thing worth considering this for, and even then it's unlikely it'll be replaceable anyway considering how unserviceable tablets are to begin with. PCIe is a little too power hungry for phones and IoT.

Edited by Mira Yurizaki
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59 minutes ago, PeterBocan said:

I am actually pretty stoked about this news as some notebook vendors, *cough*Apple*cough*, could stop soldering their SSDs into Motherboards.

I doubt they will. If size was really the reason they made SSDs soldered in, then how come other laptops of a similar size ( such as dell xps 13 ) have upgradeable SSD's? Apple just doesn't want you to open up their laptops in general


 

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They should have made it into Sd card form factor and team up with a fellow camera maker like Sony, to give the SSD an immediate purpose and market. Its not going to sell well to consumers unless its comparatively convenient for consumers to install.

 

As it stands right now, might as well have called it "Tosdrive" 


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Huh. Cool.

I don't expect this to be used to replace soldering, but still, cool.


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3 hours ago, Mira Yurizaki said:

Tablets would be the only thing worth considering this for, and even then it's unlikely it'll be replaceable anyway considering how unserviceable tablets are to begin with. PCIe is a little too power hungry for phones and IoT.

IPhones use PCIe for storage, and NVME at that. Pretty certain the interface is plenty low power for small devices. 


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10 hours ago, PeterBocan said:

I am actually pretty stoked about this news as some notebook vendors, *cough*Apple*cough*, could stop soldering their SSDs into Motherboards.

AFAIK, soldering components was also due to some legal cases from their competitors. It's not so clearcut. Unless such new designs are completely free and open, hardware manufacturers won't adopt these.

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11 hours ago, PeterBocan said:

I am actually pretty stoked about this news as some notebook vendors, *cough*Apple*cough*, could stop soldering their SSDs into Motherboards.

Would make no change at all. Apple uses the "excuse" of security to solder it on. Even if it wouldn't be soldered you can still not replace the SSD since it has to match with the T2 chip.

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Is it for phones? Because I doubt it will have higher data density than m2 with the same NAND quality, so at first I was thinking of more storage space in laptops, but having 10 connectors isn't really feasible. I guess ultrabooks and other smallest kind of devices could utilise it and it's always nice not to have to solder things.

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8 hours ago, huilun02 said:

They should have made it into Sd card form factor and team up with a fellow camera maker like Sony, to give the SSD an immediate purpose and market. Its not going to sell well to consumers unless its comparatively convenient for consumers to install.

 

As it stands right now, might as well have called it "Tosdrive" 

I doubt it's targeted at consumer usage or replacement/upgrading. To me it looks more targeted at system inteigrators and designers so they can offer more SKUs at lower design cost as well as offering more options at purchase time, configure to order etc.

 

Edit:

I can also see this being used in servers for the IPMI/iLO/iDRAC NAND chips which can and have failed requiring a complete motherboard replacement, this would allow just replacing the NAND.

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Nice, can't wait for finger sized SSDs


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Reminds me how you mout Threadripper though.

Neat to see really. Nice to see faster storage coming for smaller devices, like phones and USB thumb drives being like fast as internal drives. 


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