Phison Demos PS5016-E16 PCIe Gen 4.0 x4 SSD at CES

Phison Demos PS5016-E16 PCIe Gen 4.0 x4 SSD at CES

Phison Demos PS5016-E16 PCIe Gen 4.0 x4 SSD at CES

The world of M.2 NVMe storage may still be relatively new to the PC world, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be a limiting factor when it comes to storage performance.  

We are quickly approaching a time where PCIe bandwidth will be a limiting factor for storage, with NVMe SSDs quickly approaching the limits of the 4x PCIe 3.0 lanes offered by most of today’s motherboards. For SSD makers to continue pushing sequential speeds higher, the industry needs to start moving to PCIe 4.0, a change that AMD plans to make with their Ryzen 3rd Generation processors and their Zen 2 EPYC platform. 

Phison is already preparing for the day that PCIe 4.0 is available, preparing a controller that can meet the PCIe 4.0 specification, using 4x lanes of PCIe 4.0 bandwidth to deliver sequential read/write speeds that can exceed 4,000MB/s. These speeds already exceed the theoretical limits of 4x PCIe 3.0 lanes, never mind the limitations of the standard in real-world terms.  

Phison’s new controller is called the PS5016-E16, which was running using the PCIe 4.0 interface over a PCIe 3.0 x16 to PCIe 4.0 x8 converter, which allowed the SSD to interface with an Intel-based test system using an i7-8700K and an ASUS ROG Strix Z370-F Gaming Motherboard. 

The SSD used to for this testing was a custom 2TB demo drive which used BiCS3 TLC NAND, though the controller is said to support both TLC and QLC NAND types.  

Phison Demos PS5016-E16 PCIe Gen 4.0 x4 SSD at CES  

In the future, Phison hopes to accelerate their SSDs by 10% using firmware optimisations and offer a further 10% performance boost by utilising faster BiCS4 NAND, with hopes to achieve performance levels of 4,800MB/s sequential and deliver 900,000 random IOPS.  

AMD will be the first CPU manufacturer to market with PCIe 4.0 compliant processors and motherboards, with Ryzen 3rd Generation products releasing in Mid-2019. Phison plans to release their PS5016-E16 controller on Q3 2019, enabling SSD manufacturers to push storage performance to new heights. 

You can join the discussion on Phison’s PCIe 4.0 PS5016-E16 SSD controller on the OC3D Forums.