Phison Is Developing Customizable PCIe Gen 5 SSDs, Ready to Ship in 2022

Phison, a global provider of NAND Flash controller integrated circuits and storage solutions, is now developing PCIe Gen 5 SSD platforms that may be customized to perform optimally in users’ applications.

The data rate specification for PCIe Gen 5 at 32Gb/s is twice the lane speed of PCIe Gen 4 at 16Gb/s, according to Phison. It would enable either double the overall performance, or offer similar performance, but using half as many lanes as PCIe Gen 4.

“While PCIe Gen 4 SSD shipments are still ramping up, there are many server and storage customers who will want to transition to PCIe Gen 5 as soon as that technology is available,” said Jeff Janukowicz, Research Vice President at IDC. “By helping to enable an ecosystem, Phison’s customizable E26 SSD is at the forefront of PCIe Gen 5 introductions and will facilitate data center customers looking to benefit from the technology’s increased performance.”

Early E26 Gen 5 SSD Samples

Phison is now developing its first E26 series controller and SSD PCIe Gen 5 platform and has two major distinguishing features. First, Phison claims it produces more of the critical intellectual property (IP) blocks inside the controller than any other company, thereby eliminating dependencies and inconsistencies that competitors have when they source 3rd party IP for their controllers. Secondly, the E26 controller IP is created simultaneously with the Phison firmware in an FPGA environment before tape out ensures that the latest reliability is available in the market quickly.

Phison will be providing early E26 Gen 5 SSD samples to “industry-leading” motherboard manufacturers so their engineers can tune their electrical signal link-ups, command timing, and BIOS to Phison’s Gen 5 SSD controllers and firmware. Phison’s E26 SSD platform will support PCIe Dual Port, and have advanced features such as SR-IOV and ZNS. It will also come with support for the newest, fastest NAND interfaces ONFI 5.x and Toggle 5.x.

The Phison E26 SSD solution is built with the unique architecture of the Phison low-power ARM R5 CPU and an array of CoXProcessor 2.0 technologies that are highly powerful and extremely low power combinations. The E26 is a proprietary SSD platform available for form factors M.2, U.3, E1.S and E3.S.

The E26 Gen 5 test chip has been successfully taped out in 12nm advanced process, and customized SSD solutions are targeted to be shipping in the second half of 2022.

One of the world’s first vendors shipping PCIe Gen 4 SSD, Phison aims to replicate its success by allowing its clients to use PCIe Gen 5 SSDs with their deeper know-how in controller and firmware design and substantially in research and development investment. Phison partner firms who participated in the launch of PCIe Gen 4 benefitted first from commercial shipments. In their sales channels, several would still retain market share leadership, according to Phison.