NAND Flash To Be A Bottleneck For PCIe Gen 5.0 SSDs, Higher Layer NAND Required To Hit Peak Transfer Rates

Phison E26 controller-based SSDs that utilize the PCIe Gen 5.0 standard have been announced over the last few months. While the controller can hit speeds of up to 13 GB/s, the majority of the SSDs run at a  max read speed of 10 Gbps.

Consumer PCIe Gen 5.0 SSDs Will Be Limited To 10 G B/s Transfer Rates or Lower Based on The NAND Flash They Use

The recent PS5026-E26 controller from Phison offers eight NAND channels that aid varying transfer data rates but require a 3D NAND memory with a 2400 MT/s interface to permeate the newer PCIe 5.0 x4 interface. 3D NAND memory with the required interface can push PCIe 5.0 x4 interfaces by transferring 15.754 GBps of data back and forth. Eight NAND channels are standard for consumer SSDs, so they are not as necessary for common lower-level devices.

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Several NAND manufacturers have announced their multi-layered 3D NAND over the last several months including, Micron, SK Hynix, Samsung, and YMTC. Everyone besides Samsung utilizes the Phison PS5026-E26 controller, & all three were only able to achieve, at the most, 12 GB/s sequential read transfer rates.

Image source: Jason R. Wilson, Wccftech

However, achieving 2400 MTps through the 3D NAND chips on each company's SSDs is challenging. Most only handle a total of 1600 MT/s, losing 800 MT/s overall. Micron's controller is the most advanced of all the companies, offering support for 232-layer 3D NAND layer memory but with limited production of these NAND flash chips, the controller will have to be used with 176-layer NAND which runs at the aforementioned lower speeds, hence resulting in a big difference between the performance. It is speculated that we will see these rates at some point in 2023, but it is unsure whether we will see this early in the year or towards the latter half of 2023.

GOODRAM and Corsair advertise that their SSDs can achieve 10 GBps of data transfer with a 3D NAND memory chip and 1600 MT/s interface, while Gigabyte and their Aorus Gen5 10000 SSD are stated to reach 12.4 GB/s of reading transfer speeds using Micron's 2400 MT/s interface.

Corsair and GOODRAM appear more sensible with their solid-state drives and what they can achieve with the 3D NAND technology. On the other hand, Gigabyte will need to acquire a fair amount of 2400 MT/s chips from Micron to allow their SSD to be available in larger quantities. It is speculated that Corsair and GOODRAM are in a better position to outsell Gigabyte with their current situation. So far, we know the following speeds that will be offered by a range of SSD manufacturers:

  • MSI - Up To 12 GB/s
  • XPG - Up To 14 GB/s
  • T-Force - Up To 12 GB/s
  • GOODRAM - Up To 10 GB/s
  • AORUS - Up To 12.5 GB/s
  • APACER - Up To 13 GB/s
  • KIOXIA - Up To 14 GB/s
  • Corsair - Up To 10 GB/s
  • GALAX - Up To 12 GB/s

Several storage manufacturers, including MSIADATATEAMGROUP, GOODRAM, AORUS, APACER, KIOXIA, Corsair, and others are working on their next-gen PCIe Gen 5 SSD solutions for a formal launch later this year. The new SSDs will offer full compliance with the Microsoft DirectStorage API & AMD's Smart Access Storage (SAS) technologies.

News Sources: Tom', s Hardware, GOODRAM

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