The JEDEC Solid State Technology Association has introduced a new data storage specification that could bring super-speedy, removable storage to compact devices that have typically had storage soldered to the mainboard until now.
XFM Embedded and Removable Memory Devices provide an NVMe over PCI Express interface in a smaller, thinner form factor than the M.2 cards typically used for that today. That could enable removable, upgradeable storage for a wide range thin and light devices.
For example, JEDEC says the new solution could be used in game consoles, virtual reality or augmented reality headsets, or video recording devices such as drones or compact security cameras. They could also show up in thin and light notebooks, which are increasingly likely to have storage soldered to the system board as they get thinner and lighter.
XFM stands for Crossover Flash memory, and the full specification is available as a free download from the JEDEC website. It describes an XFM storage device (XFMD) that measures just 18mm x 14mm x 1.4mm, or just a little larger than a microSD card, and a little bit thinner (15mm x 11mm x 2.1mm).
But unlike microSD cards, an XFMD uses a PCIe Gen4 1-lane or 2-lane physical interface and NVMe logical interface, enabling higher data transfer speeds and support for power management features. And unlike soldered storage, an XFMD uses a socket system, making it possible to replace broken storage devices or upgrade to higher-capacity storage in the future.