This new PCIe 4.0 card hosts up to 21 SSDs for 31GB/s

This new PCIe 4.0 card hosts up to 21 SSDs for 31GB/s

Apex Storage has introduced the new X21 add-in-card (AIC), which allows users to host up to 21 M.2 SSD drives, for a total storage capacity of up to 168TB and a speed maximum data transfer rate of 31GB/s.

The X21 card, designed following the double-wide full-height full-length (FHFL) form factor and single-slot PCI design, is backwards compatible with PCIe 3.0, obviously accepting a substantial loss of performance. The management of such a large number of M.2 SSD drives is made possible by combining two PCBs in a single device, using a system similar to that of the NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GX2.

X21 offers 10 PCIe 4.0 slots M.2 and features a huge heatsink that covers a controller inside the board. Two 6-pin PCIe power connectors have been implemented to provide auxiliary power that can reach 225W. Despite featuring a passive cooling design, the X21 requires a minimum airflow of 400 LFM for optimal operation. X21 can handle Samsung 990 Pro SSDs and Intel Optane M.2 drives, including the H20.

Photo Credit: Apex Storage

Photo Credit: Apex Storage In a single-card configuration, the X21 offers sequential read and write speeds of up to 30.5GB/s and 28.5GB/s, respectively, with a random read performance of 7.5 million IOPS and a write performance of 6 .2 million IOPS. Performance increases dramatically in a multi-card configuration, with sequential read speeds up to 107GB/s and sequential write speeds up to 80GB/s, with random performance reaching 20 million read IOPS and 10 million write IOPS . The card has an average read and write access latency of 79ms and 52ms, respectively.

The X21 offers several advanced features, such as RAID configuration for Windows and Linux environments, NVMe 2.0 support, advanced EEC, data and error recovery. Apex Storage also boasts “enterprise-grade reliability,” ensuring consumers are highly secure and safe for their data. At present, the price and availability of X21 have not yet been disclosed.