Phison Electronics talked about PCIe Gen5, PCIe Gen 6 standard master chips

In MSI’s latest Insider Livestream, Phison’s Chief Technology Officer Sebastien Jean talked about PCIe Gen5, PCIe Gen 6, and even PCIe Gen 7 standard master chips, as well as some details of the new generation of SSDs.
Phison Electronics’ SSDs based on PCIe Gen5 standard will be shipped to customers next year. Although the design cycle of new SSDs is generally about 16 to 18 months, new process nodes and technology launches should start two to three years in advance. At present Phison Electronics has started the related underlying design based on PCIe Gen 6 standard SSD. The actual product will probably appear between 2025 and 2026.
Although SSDs based on the PCIe Gen5 standard can provide a data transfer rate of up to 14 Gbps, which is comparable to DDR4-2133, it does not mean that SSDs can replace traditional memory solutions. However, it can be combined with the existing memory system to act as an L4 cache. Current CPUs generally have L1, L2, and L3 caches. Phison believes that in similar design architecture, SSDs based on PCIe Gen5 or higher standards will be able to operate as L4 caches. At the same time, Phison Electronics and SSD manufacturers believe that technologies such as Microsoft Direct Storage API will be used on consumer platforms to better utilize the performance advantages of next-generation storage products.

In the future, the speed and storage density of SSD will be further improved. Higher NAND flash memory density can not only reduce the price of products but also make storage products less restrictive in size. In addition, the next major upgrade is likely to reduce the number of channels, such as changing PCIe Gen 5/6 x4 to PCIe Gen 7 x2. Phison Electronics said that TLC will continue to develop. Although QLC is not particularly good in terms of writing speed, its reading speed has its advantages, or there will be some special applications.

At present, Phison Electronics recommends manufacturers equip SSDs based on PCIe Gen4 with heat sinks. For PCIe Gen5 products, this is a must. On next-generation SSDs, users may see solutions equipped with active cooling devices, because higher power consumption leads to more heat output. The TDP of the PCIe Gen5 standard SSD is 14W. When the PCIe Gen6 standard SSD is reached, the TDP will be increased to 28W. This will be the main challenge that the SSD will face in the future.