Kioxia has introduced one of the industry's first SSDs featuring an EDSSF E1.S 'ruler' form-factor as well as a PCIe 4.0 x4 interface. The Kioxia XD6 drives comply with the NVMe Cloud SSD specification (developed by the Open Compute Platform organization) and are designed for applications that need consistently high performance, decent thermal management, and reliability.
Kioxia's new XD6 SSDs are based around the company's 3D TLC NAND memory as well as a new controller that supports all the features one comes to expect from an NVMe 1.3c-compliant hyperscale-optimized chip, including end-to-end data protection, TCG Opal security features, sanitize instant erase (SIE) capability, hot plugging, expanded drive health information, and power loss protection (appropriate capacitors are onboard). The drive guarantees reliability in 24/7 environments common for hyperscalers.
The manufacturer plans to offer its XD6-series drives in E1.S 9.5 mm, 15 mm, and 25 mm form-factors. The drives will feature different capacities depending on their physical dimensions.
As far as performance is concerned, Kioxia says that the XD6 SSD is rated for of up to 6,500MB/s and 2,400MB/s sequential read and write speeds as well as offers low latency. Power consumption of the drive is projected to be at around 15 Watts and for that reason it comes equipped with a rather huge heat spreader.
Speaking of the heat spreaders, it should be noted that the enterprise & data center SSD form-factors (EDSFFs) were developed primarily to increase capacity of SSDs (and therefore storage density of servers) as well as to optimize their thermals and therefore ensure consistent performance. The EDSFF E1.S form-factor was designed to be short, yet offer capacities higher than those of M.2 drives. With a huge cooling system, the Kioxia XD6 is not designed to provide maximum storage density, but it will certainly offer consistently high performance even under high loads as its controller will never have to throttle due to overheating.
Kioxia is currently sampling its XD6 SSDs with select customers and plans to start their volume shipments at a later date. Considering the fact that the drives are compatible with the NVMe 1.3c protocol and comply with the NVMe Cloud SSD specification, OCP members will be the first to adopt the new drives.