Light my fire: Kioxia accelerates matchbook-size SSD with PCIe 4

Kioxia has boosted the performance of its M.2 2230 matchbook-size SSD by adding a PCIe 4 x 4 interface.

The new BG5 drive comes in 256GB, 512GB and 1TB capacities and is destined for OEM use in small notebooks, gaming consoles and similar equipment. It has pretty much the same capacities as the Jan 2019-era preceding BG4 drive but reverts to TLC NAND from the BG4’s QLC flash.

Neville Ichhaporia, VP SSD marketing and product management at Kioxia America, said: “With this latest addition to our comprehensive PCIe 4.0 SSD portfolio, Kioxia is delivering premium performance to the mainstream swim-lane by enabling PCIe 4.0 without sacrificing affordability.” 

M.2 2230 drives are 22mm wide and 30mm long. These drives are DRAM-less, using host buffer memory technology to map the drive’s contents. Performance is aided by an on-drive SLC NAND cache.

The BG4 was optimised for reading over writing but the BG5 has more equivalent read and write performance. Here is our tabulation of BG4 and BG5 performance numbers together with the percentage increases:

Kioxia has not supplied an endurance number. It does say the BG5 is a virtual multi-LUN (VML)-enabled client SSD. It supports NVMe v1.4, the TCG Pyrite and Opal standards, and End-to-End Data Protection. There is a Power Loss Notification signal and support for basic management commands over the System Management Bus (SMBus). It is also available in the longer M.2 2280 format (22mm x 80mm).

The BG5 is sampling to OEMs and Kioxia partners, and no prices have been released.