JEDEC has introduce Its new cross-flash (XFM) form factor is suitable for NAND memory-based storage devices. The form factor is small and slim, and can be easily replaced while using industry standard interfaces and protocols. XFM Embedded and Removable Storage Devices (XFMD) are designed for applications ranging from small IoT products to notebook computers.
Today, there are two form factors for client-oriented NAND memory storage devices: UFS for low-power embedded and mobile applications and M.2 for PCs. UFS 3.1 devices provide good performance at low power consumption, but they are not replaceable, which poses some problems for manufacturers because they lose a lot of flexibility when using solder drives. In contrast, M.2 modules are replaceable, can provide extreme performance, but consume a lot of power, and are too large for small devices.
JEDEC’s JESD233 XFM Embedded and Removable Storage Device (XFMD) standard is designed to combine mobility and small size. The XFM module will use the PCIe physical interface to connect to the host and use the advanced NVMe protocol to access the NAND flash media without overhead and low latency. Therefore, at the electrical and logical level, the XFM device will look for the host like an M.2 module.
Form factor developers position XFMD as a wide range of applications, including IoT devices, automotive applications, laptops, game consoles, video recording equipment (drones, surveillance systems, etc.) and extended reality (AR, VR, MR) headsets, Just to name a few.
Using XFMD instead of UFS drivers will slightly simplify mobile SoCs because they do not have to integrate appropriate logic. At the same time, PSI-SIG’s PCIe interface consumes more power than MIPI Alliance’s M-PHY, so it remains to be seen whether XFMD can replace UFS in various applications.
So far, Kioxia and MediaTek have approved the new appearance. One interesting thing to note is that while Kioxia is talking about “semi-removable storage”, MediaTek refers to XFMD as “an expandable storage option for end users.”
“We believe that the XFM Embedded and Removable Storage Device (XFMD) standard will take advantage of its balanced performance, small size, and ease of maintenance to be used as a game changer for semi-removable storage in many electronic and IoT devices. Said Atsushi Inoue, Senior Director of Kioxia Memory Division.
“MediaTek is honored to work with JEDEC members to advance the development of the embedded and removable storage device (XFMD) standard, which provides an attractive option for high-performance storage in embedded devices,” Silicon Senior General Manager Harrison Hsieh said MediaTek’s product development. “Platform developers and device manufacturers can easily adopt XFMD to provide end users with new and expandable storage options.”