Kioxia is now introducing a new generation of BG M.2 client NVMe SSDs in the ultra-compact 2230 form factor. The BG series has been a popular choice among OEMs and other system builders due to low price points, decent performance, and of course the small form factor in the case of 2230 SSDs.
The new BG6 series builds upon the Gen 4 support initially featured in the BG5 series but upgrades the NAND from 112-layer BiCS5 to 162-layer BiCS6, at least in 1TB and 2TB units. The increased density makes it possible for Kioxia to offer 2TB M.2 2230 SSDs, so while the BG5 series topped out at 1TB, the BG6 series comes with provide a 2TB variant.
Kioxia’s BG series of SSDs originally emerged as a single-chip option in either a BGA package or an M.2 2230 module. However, due to the thermal requirements of PCIe 4.0, the company ended the single-chip BGA solution with the arrival of the BG5 at the end of 2021. The BG6 series maintains the dual-chip design with different flash and controller packages, and also remain DRAM-less.
Although Kioxia BG5 was an entry-level PCIe 4.0 alternative, the updated NAND has increased the BG6’s performance significantly. The host memory buffer (HMB) DRAM-less design leads to a slight decline in performance, thus not reaching the high-end specifications. On the other hand, it helps to reduce costs and enhance thermal performance.
Kioxia BG6 2230 Highlights
- Capacity: 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB
- Form Factor: M.2 2230 or M.2 2280
- Interface: PCIe Gen4 x4, NVMe 1.4c
- NAND Flash: 112L BiCS5 3D TLC, 162L BiCS6 3D TLC
- Sequential Read (up to): 6000 MB/s
- Sequential Write (up to): 5300 MB/s
- Random Read (up to): 850K IOPS
- Random Write (up to): 900K IOPS
The larger 1TB and 2TB SKUs of the BG6 are expected to be in higher demand than the 256GB and 512GB models, which will arrive later. Additionally, the M.2 2230 form factor is expected to take precedence over M.2 2280 versions. Kioxia anticipates the BG6 SSDs to be used as boot drives in servers, storage arrays, and similar devices. To this end, they are equipped with NVMe 1.4c support with SMBus interfacing for improved thermal control, TCG Pyrite/Opal encryption, power loss notification, and platform firmware recovery.
Kioxia’s BG6 offers up to 70% higher sequential performance than the BG5, and 30% or 100% better random read and write performance, respectively. Additional and more detailed specifications should be made available in July of 2023. Availability in the form of samples to OEMs and system integrators during the latter portion of the year, while consumers may have to wait until early 2024.