Most PC builders will be looking forward to Phison's Gen 5 controllers that will power high-end SSD solutions later this year but the company isn't yet done with its Gen 4 solutions.
Phison Readies PCIe Gen 4-Based E25 & E20 Controllers For Consumers & Servers, To Exist Along Side Gen 5 SSD Controllers
Phison knows that while PCIe Gen 5 controllers will be featured in the premium SSD category at the launch, they need to come up with solutions that are more robust than their existing products and not as pricey. The solution will come in the form of upgraded consumer and server designs based on the PCIe Gen 4 standard. In a recent Annual Report publication (via Komachi), Phison talks about three key solutions, these include the PCIe Gen 5 E26, PCIe Gen 4 E25 and PCIe Gen 4 E20 products:
- The PS5025-E25 controller is a PCIe Gen4 SSD with an external DRAM design and a maximum performance of 7200MB/s, which is the best choice for extremely fast gamers.
- The PS5020-E20 PCIe Gen4 enterprise SSD controller will have a maximum support capacity of 32TB and support special functions in enterprise-grade applications. It will be the most suitable choice for server system integrators.
- The performance of new-gen. PS5026-E26 PCIe Gen5 SSD controller will reach 13000MB/s, and it will be a flagship product in the PC market.
Starting at the top, we have the Phison E26 'PS5026-E26' PCIe Gen 5 SSD controller which will be the flagship solution from the company. The controller is said to offer transfer speeds of up to 13 GB/s and we have already seen demos of them hitting read speeds of up to 12.5 GB/s. One of the key challenges for the E26 controller would be the adoption of the Gen 5 standard.
Currently, the Gen 5 M.2 standard isn't available on most platforms and the first proper platform will come later this year in the form of AMD's AM5. Intel on the other hand may only be limited to partial Gen 5 SSD support as they share the Gen 5 lanes from the discrete GPU with the M.2 SSD devices. The E26 controller is also set to be featured in the premium category so unless the more mainstream solutions come out which won't happen till next year, the Gen 5 SSD standard will be an enthusiast-only option.
Considering this, Phison is also working on PCIe Gen 4 SSD controllers which include the E25 for high-end gamers and E20 for server applications. The Phison E25 'PS5025-E25' SSD controller is designed to offer external DRAM and a maximum transfer speed of up to 7.2 GB/s. That's a 200 MB/s increase over the existing Phison E18 controllers and will also come with some thermal & power management updates.
The Phison E20 'PS5020-E20' PCIe Gen 4 SSD controller is something that was confirmed a while back and will be aiming at the high-end data center segment. While we didn't have a lot of details before, Phison has now confirmed that it will come with up to 32 TB of capacities along with full support for special functions in enterprise applications. Phison will also have Gen 5 SSDs coming to the enterprise segment to rival Samsung's 'PM1743' solution that's been shipping to customers for a while now.
Samsung, Silicon Motion, Koixia, and several other manufacturers are currently working on their PCIe Gen 5 controllers, just like Phison, that will be featured in some really fast Gen 5 SSD solutions from manufacturers such as TeamGroup, ADATA, and APACER.
Phison Controller Specs
|Interface||PCIe 4.0 x4||PCIe 4.0 x4||PCIe 4.0 x4||PCIe 5.0 x4|
|Protocol||NVMe 1.3||NVMe 1.4||NVMe 1.4||NVMe 2.0|
|Process Node||28nm (TSMC)||12nm (TSMC)||TBD||12nm (TSMC)|
|Package||529-ball TFBGA, 16×16mm||529-ball FCCSP, 12×12mm||TBD||576-ball FCCSP, 16×16mm|
|CPU cores||2 × ARM Cortex R5||3 × ARM Cortex R5||TBD||2 × ARM Cortex R5
3 × Proprietary IP CoX Processor
|NAND Channel (CE)||8 (32)||8 (32)||8 (32)||8 (32)|
|ECC||4th Gen LDPC||4th Gen LDPC||4th Gen LDPC||5th Gen LDPC|
TCG Opal 2.0
|Sequential Read||5,000 MB/s||7,400MB/s||TBD||12,000MB/s|
|Sequential Write||4,400 MB/s||7,000MB/s||TBD||11,000MB/s|
|4K Random Read||720,000 IOPS||1,000,000 IOPS||TBD||1,500,000 IOPS|
|4K Random Write||750,000 IOPS||1,000,000 IOPS||TBD||2,000,000 IOPS|