PCIe 5.0 SSDs are not yet available to consumers, but manufacturers like Phison are working hard to develop controllers that provide the next generation of solid state storage for those who need speed.
The PCIe 5.0 standard was announced in 2019, just before PCIe 4.0 was terminated. As of today, PCIe 4.0 doesn't improve performance much, even with the most beautiful graphics card you can buy, but it has allowed SSD manufacturers to offer some of the fastest consumer storage devices to date.
These drives reach over 7000Mbps, but as we've seen with the Kioxia SSD PCIe 5.0 prototype, it doesn't take long for NVMe drives that can hit more than 14,000Mbps the second. That's double that of PCIe 4.0, thanks to PCIe 5.0's bandwidth of 32GB per line.
Advances in the next generation of SSD controllers for M.2, U.3, E1.S and E3.S form factors, aptly called E26 Gen5, are Fison says. The new customizable chip is based on Arm Cortex-R5 cores and a set of low-power accelerators, commonly called CoXProcessor 2.0. It supports ONFI 5.x and Toggle 5.x NAND interfaces, as well as enterprise features such as PCIe Dual Port, Single Root I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV), and ZNS. The company says it has avoided using many third-party IP blocks, which means it should be marketed faster and have better control over OS development than competitors like Silicon Motion. The E26 Gen5 chip is manufactured using a 12nm process node and is currently being sampled by motherboard and SSD manufacturers for testing and tuning. Fison doesn't have an exact date to wait to see the first commercial products based on the new console, but the company expects it to hit the market in the second half of 2022.
This means that the first PCIe 5.0 solid-state drive will be available to consumers. A few months after Intel launched Alder Lake, expected by the end of this month. As for what happens next, Samsung is looking to copy and paste the human brain into the SSD, and the Korean company needs to do that ASAP.
Phison's new NAND PCIe 5.0 controller paves the way for faster SSDs