M.2 SSDs nowadays are used for a wide variety of applications, whereas Samsung tried to promote its next generation small form-factor (NGSFF) for enterprise-grade solid-state storage under the M.3 moniker (yet later renamed it to NF1). Apparently, there are companies that are working on SSDs in the so-called M.4 form-factor. One of such drives was spotted at Computex.

Silicon Motion demonstrated Agylstor’s M.4 NVMe SSD at the trade show earlier this month. The drive is based on SMI’s own enterprise-grade SM2270 controller based on three pairs of ARM Cortex R5 cores to support 2KB LDPC error correction and featuring 16 NAND channels with 8 CE per channel (128 CE in total) as well as a PCIe 3.0 x8 interface. Meanwhile, the SSD was assembled by SMART Modular.

Agylstor’s M.4 NVMe drive is essentially two M.2 SSDs (PCBs) glued together. The construction allows to install 16 NAND packages (eight on both sides) and thus offer an doubled capacity. Meanwhile, a PCIe 3.0 x8 interface promises a very strong performance. Keeping in mind that we are talking about an enterprise-grade controller and appropriate drives, we mean sustained performance, not peak performance.

Agylstor is a startup that develops specialized storage subsystems for a wide variety of applications from drones to video & film production as well as from IoT to oil & gas exploration. That said, Agylstor does not necessarily need to make SSDs compatible with general-purpose PCs for many reasons.

At present, it is unclear when Agylstor plans to release its M.4 NVMe SSDs.

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  • CheapSushi - Friday, June 14, 2019 - link

    I think M.3 (NF1) did good enough in terms of allowing more NAND per PCB, Weren't Samsung showing 16TB QLC M.3's? They even showed off hotswap variants with SuperMicro. I think that was fine. Reply
  • peterfares - Saturday, June 15, 2019 - link

    Would a slot capable of taking this be able to instead take two M.2 drives? The screw holes could potentially be an issue. Would be cool to have that flexibility. Reply
  • invasmani - Saturday, June 15, 2019 - link

    I'd like a PCIe 3.0 x16 interface M.8 SSD I'd swap my GTX980 into the PCIE 3.0 x16 slot that's x4 link speed. I mean a 1% performance loss at 4K in exchange for a drastically better SSD that's a more general purpose system improvement seems like a fair trade off. Reply
  • Skeptical123 - Tuesday, June 18, 2019 - link

    Cool, this is the current (PCIe gen 4 is not here just yet) generation of standardized tech pushed to the max with out doing too much crazy stuff. Ie standard M.2 PCI interface, just two, same z height, same NAND, just 2 or 3 controls daze changed together. Reply

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