Toshiba's BG product series will move to its third generation with the aptly named BG3. BG products aren't sold in the channel, so you generally don't see them on Amazon, Newegg, or even CDW. Instead, the single package SSD typically ships in products in a fixed position, soldered directly to the circuit board. Toshiba also sells the series to manufacturers in an M.2 2230 form factor.
Now that Windows 10 fully supports an innovative new technology called Host Memory Buffer (HMB), we may see the M.2 model come to market as an alternative to low-cost DRAMless SATA SSDs. The BG3 uses up to 38MB of system memory to make up for not using an embedded DRAM buffer. It delivers up to 1,520MBps of sequential read performance. The compact drive ships in three capacities: 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB.
Host Memory Buffer increases random performance over products using a DRAMless architecture. Toshiba claims an 80-150% increase in random access at high queue depths. (Marvell has demonstrated the same technology at various trade shows with similar results.) When Toshiba displayed the BG2 at Flash Memory Summit last year, the company had to load a special motherboard BIOS and drivers into Windows. That's no longer required--motherboard manufacturers and Microsoft have put the necessary components in place to bring this technology to market.
“Toshiba’s third generation BG SSDs were designed to not spark, but fuel a revolution in mobile and IoT computing,” said Jeremy Werner, vice president SSD marketing and product planning at Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. “The BG3 series is not only smaller and lighter, but smarter thanks to its cost-effective DRAM-less design with HMB technology combined with Toshiba 64-layer 3D flash memory with TLC technology. These SSDs enable OEMs to reimagine what’s possible for their customers.”
The new BG3 will be part of Toshiba's push to transition all of its flash-based products to new BiCS FLASH. It features a Toshiba controller and the new 64-layer 3-bit per cell (TLC) BiCS FLASH memory we recently discussed in our XG5 preview. Other aspects of this push will include a new RD model based on the XG5 that's heading to retailers later this year, as well as a DRAMless entry-level SATA drive (the TR200) that will arrive even sooner.
Still, we should see the new BG3, TR200, and XG5 at Flash Memory Summit next week.