Intel’s Optane memory is a new type of solid state storage that offers high speeds… and which also comes at a high cost compared to NAND Flash SSDs. So competitors including Samsung and Toshiba figure there’s room to compete by introducing new types of NAND-based storage solutions that are offer high performance by NAND standards, but which are cheaper to manufacture than Optane.
Last year Samsung introduced its low-latency Z-NAND storage solution. This week Toshiba introduced something called 3D XL-Flash.
Toshiba says 3D XL-Flash has 1/10th the latency of a TLC NAND flash drive, but since it’s manufactured using existing technologies, it should be a lot cheaper to produce (and cheaper for customers to buy).
Initially Toshiba seems to be targeting the data center market rather than the consumer space, but it’s possible we could eventually see the company bring the technology to SSDs for desktop and laptop computers. After all, the first Intel Optane drives were also aimed at the enterprise market, but now there are versions available for consumer devices as well.