July 28, 2017 // 6 a.m.
Toshiba has announced the impending launch of its first own-brand solid-state drives (SSDs) based around its triple-level cell (TLC) BiCS3 NAND flash technology, promising up to 550MB/s throughput and capacities up to 960GB.
The precursor to the 96-layer BiCS4 implementation recently announced in partnership with Western Digital's SanDisk subsidiary, the BiCS3 technology sees 64 layers of NAND storage stacked on a single die to boost capacities and reduce power usage compared to standard planar layouts. Combined with triple-level cell (TLC) technology, which has three binary bits per memory cell for the ability to store eight possible states in each cell, the result is impressively capacious drives: Toshiba has confirmed 2.5" SATA form-factor models in 240GB, 480GB, and 960GB capacities.
Each drive in the TR200 range has up to 550MB/s read throughput and 525MB/s write throughput based on sequential data, tested using IOMeter 1.1.0, with random performance hitting 80,000 input/output operations per second (IOPS) for read and 87,000 for write respectively as verified by CrystalDiskMark 5.1.2 over a 6Gb/s SATA bus. Toshiba has also promised 'low power consumption that translates into a longer battery life for on-the-go users' but has sadly not provided any firm figures with which to back up that claim.
Although not the first outing for Toshiba's BiCS3 technology - that honour goes to the company's XG5 Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) SSD, which was sold to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partners - Toshiba has indicated that the TR200 family is its first attempt at building a drive for the upper-end of the mass market, name-checking both gamers and 'DIY enthusiasts' in its launch announcement. What the company isn't yet sharing, however, is pricing, with more information on that front expected prior to the devices' appearance on shop shelves some time in the autumn.