Toshiba's SSDs are the first to use 96-layer 3D flash chips

The cutting-edge NVMe SSDs are aimed at gamers and power users.

Toshiba has unveiled the XG6 series, the first SSDs to be built with its cutting-edge 96-layer 3D flash tech. The XG6 series of NVM Express (NVMe) SSDs use BiCS 3D flash memory with 3-bits-per-cell that power the drives to 3,180 MB/s read and 3,000 MB/s write speeds, with a stellar 365,000 random write IOPS (input/output operations per second). At the same time, the devices consume a maximum of just 4.7 watts.

The new SSDs arrive just a week after Toshiba unveiled the first samples of next-gen 4-bits-per-cell 96-layer flash chips. That shows that there can be around a year of time lag between the launch of bleeding-edge flash tech and the release of products you can actually buy. Toshiba VP Jeremy Werner notes that SSDs, with their complex controller designs, "pose the most formidable flash design challenge."

Toshiba hasn't revealed pricing for the drives yet, but says it's targeting "client PC, high-performance mobile, embedded, and gaming segments," along with data centers, so you can expect to pay a premium. The M.2 3x4 SSDs are available in 256, 512 and 1,024 GB sizes and are now sampling to "select OEM customers." There's no word yet on when you'll find one on Amazon, though.