Kioxia XD6 ruler SSD hits the hyperscaler scene

Kioxia has announced the XD6, its first ruler format SSD, which is intended for hyperscalers and complies with the Open Compute Project (OCP) NVMe Cloud SSD Specification.

Ross Stenfort, a hardware storage engineer at Facebook, has upplied a quote: “EDSFF E1.S is the next generation of flash form factors, delivering superior thermals, performance, serviceability, and scalability when compared to current solutions. KIOXIA’s support of EDSFF is a great step forward and lays the groundwork for the future.”

Neville Ichhaporia, a Kioxia America senior marketing and product management director, said in a statement: “Hyperscale data centres are the heart of the internet, and the OCP platform will power future generations with SSDs optimised for server platforms.”  

Seven XD6 drives, with 25mm heatsink, in a carrier.

The XD6 is a short ruler-sized drive, using the E1.S form factor. This measures 111.49mm long by 31.5mm wide. But Kioxia’s drive has three width options; 9.5mm, 15mm and 25mm, due to varying heatsink sizes.

E1.S drives promises more density, performance, reliability, and better thermal management than the M.2 gumstick format. However, the XD6 has the same density as Kioxia’s prior M.2 format XD5 drive 1.92TB and 3.8TB, even though it uses denser 96-layer 3D NAND rather than the XD5’s 64-layer flash. But it has a PCIe Gen 4 x 4 lane interface instead of the XD5’s PCIe Gen 3 x4, and goes a heck of a lot faster;  

Kioxia XD5 and XD6 performance summary.

The drive, like the XD5, is heavily read-optimised, with the sequential read performance up by 2.5X and random reads 3.5X faster. It has 2 million hour MTTF rating, and sustains one full drive write a day for its five-year warranty period. The XD6 supports SED and TCG-Opal 2.0 security standards.

Samsung introduced a PM9A3 E1.S format drive in May, using 128-layer 3D NAND, with 960GB to 7.68TB capacity range. It delivers 900,000/180,000 random read/write IOPS, up to 6.5GB/sec sequential reads and 3.5GB/sec sequential writes.

That makes Samsung’s drive faster at sequential writes, and random reads and writes, than Kioxia’s XD6, as well as having a higher capacity. And it supports 1.3 drive writes a day, but only for three years.

Kioxia’s XD6 drives are sampling to select customers.