Silicon Motion To Intro PCIe Gen 5 SM8366 & SM2508 High-End Controllers For Enterprise & Consumers SSDs First In 2022-2023 Followed By Mainstream SM2507 In 2024

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During its recent earnings call, Silicon Motion confirmed that it plans to launch its first PCIe Gen 5 SSD controllers for Enterprise first before heading into the consumer segment.

Silicon Motion PCIe Gen 5 SSD Controllers Sampling Later This Year: SM8366 Controller For Enterprise In 2023, SM2508 High-End SSDs Late 2022, SM2507 Mainstream SSDs For Consumers In 2024

Recently, several manufacturers have started prototyping and sampling their next-gen PCIe Gen 5 SSD controllers. These include Phison (E26), Samsung & InnoGrit (IG5666). Silicon Motion is another well-known manufacturer known for its mainstream and affordable SSD solutions and during its latest earnings call, the company confirmed when to expect their next-gen PCIe Gen 5 controllers.

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As per Silicon Motion's President and CEO, Wallace Koi, the company is expected to begin sampling its first PCIe Gen 5 controller designed for the Enterprise segment in the second half of 2022. The SM8366 controller will go on to power next-gen Enterprise SSDs when it enters mass production in the first half of 2023.

We are going to sampling our PCIe Gen5 enterprise controller in the second half of this year. It will be production in second half of next year 2023. So the PCIe Gen5 flagship enterprise controller, we believe that will be uniquely positioned for very high-end, high-performance driver for enterprise customers, especially a hyperscale customer and a design for high-end enterprise server as well as data center providers. And we believe this product will win quite a lot of major design. We are in -- frequently discuss with the potential major customers.

the PCIe Gen5 enterprise controller is our third generation. We really learn enough lessons how to really -- to create a really enterprise-type controller architecture to meet the customer demand and expectations, particularly in latency and also the rewrite combination performance and all the key features and custom adds we all deliver into the silicon. And in addition, we also spent great effort to do the modeling for the computer architecture in SSD and also do the performance-tuning algorithms with dedicated firmware teams. Now we believe our firmware technology and enterprise SSD will be similar or same level with the leader in the market today. And that's why we have a pretty good confidence when we launch PCIe Gen5 SSD controller, we should have a pretty decent position in the market.

 And additionally, we are on track to begin sampling our flagship SM8366 PCIe Gen5 SSD controller in the second half of this year. We believe our Gen5 is uniquely positioned with both very competitive operation performance and robust architecture and is also compellingly differentiated with future design desired by hyperscale and enterprise customers, such as a highly customization firmware, performance shaping capability and optimize data placement technologies.

I think you have probably 2 or 3 different questions. Let's just try the enterprise side. The enterprise, I think we do start to -- as we said, we do start to have a volume shipment for SATA enterprise controller this year. and our PCIe Gen4 controller is incremental sales. Although we understand that's not the leading controller today, but we are able to secure a few customers to sell the PCIe Gen4 as a vehicle to introduce our PCIe Gen5 enterprise controller, which we'll be sampling in the second half of this year and production in second half of next year.

Wallace Kou (President & CEO at Silicon Motion) via Seeking Alpha

In addition to its Enterprise controllers, Silicon Motion also plans to bring PCIe Gen 5 into the PC consumer segment. For this purpose, the company is working on its brand new SM2507 Gen 5 controller which will be launching in 2024. It is said that PCIe Gen 4 is still expected to last a few years and for this purpose, the company is working on an updated PCIe Gen 4 variant (3rd Gen) sometime in 2023 before transitioning to PCIe Gen 5 in the following year.

With that said, a more high-end SSD controller, the SM2508 Gen 5, will be headed to enthusiast-grade PCs later this year and is powering ADATA's upcoming drives which were teased at CES.

Additionally, our NAND flash customers continue to work with game console OEMs for the adoption of our SSD controller in their next major device upgrade cycle next year. It is likely that PCIe Gen4 will last a few years since Intel, AMD both continue to bring new upgrade variant of CPU with PCIe Gen4 to the market. Similarly, we are preparing for the launch of our third-generation PCIe Gen4 controller next year before transitioning to PCIe Gen5 in the following year.

Wallace Kou (President & CEO at Silicon Motion) via Seeking Alpha

It also makes sense to focus on PCIe Gen 4 for now since most Intel and AMD platforms rely on PCIe Gen 4 standard for NVMe drives. While Intel's Alder Lake platform has a few Gen 5 NVMe options, they aren't as widespread so most manufacturers are expected to introduce them with the next-gen Intel 13th Gen Raptor Lake and AMD Ryzen 7000 offerings that launch late 2022. As such, we can only expect high-end flagship products based on PCIe Gen 5 controllers before we get more affordable Gen 5 SSDs into the market. The PCIe Gen 5 SSD standard is going to offer double the transfer rates and higher performance though that will come at the cost of higher power and thermal, as reported by Phison.

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