Silicon Motion expects PCIe 5.0 SSD to be available in notebooks by the end of next year

Of late, a contention arose between Silicon Motion and MaxLinear concerning a potential merger, a venture valued approximately at $3.8 billion, which ultimately foundered. This abortive deal further culminated in a tempestuous war of words between the parties. Nonetheless, this fracas seemingly did not stymie Silicon Motion’s developmental endeavors, as they unveiled their novel PCIe 5.0 SSD controller chip at the Flash Memory Summit 2023 just last month.

According to TechPowerup, Silicon Motion anticipates the inaugural batch of laptops equipped with the PCIe 5.0 SSD to grace the market by the close of 2024. With the nascent PCIe 5.0 SSD controller chip, SM2508, Silicon Motion aspires to expedite its market entry, vying for dominance against the Phison E26 controller. Remarkably versatile, the SM2508 is not just tailored for desktops and workstations but is also compatible with laptops, thereby broadening its application spectrum considerably.

As per the specifications divulged by Silicon Motion, the SM2508 is an 8-channel controller, bolstering a PCIe 5.0 x4 interface and the NVMe 2.0 protocol. Its sequential read and write speeds peak at an impressive 14 GB/s, whilst its random read and write capabilities top at 2.5M IOPS and 2.4M IOPS respectively. The controller supports 3D TLC/QLC NAND flash memory, consuming a power of 3.5W. Crafted using TSMC’s 6nm process, the SM2508 boasts dual Arm Cortex-R8 cores. On paper, its performance ostensibly trumps the conventional Phison E26 solutions. Additionally, the avant-garde manufacturing process ensures the chip has diminished thermal output, comparable to most PCIe 4.0 SSD controller chips.

Indeed, earlier this year at CES 2023, ADATA showcased the maiden SSD employing Silicon Motion’s controller solution – the very SM2508. Albeit, the specifications then revealed were somewhat more modest. For instance, the speed supported per channel was previously gauged at 3200 MT/s; the contemporary data, however, elevates this to a commendable 3600 MT/s, indicating a discernible enhancement in performance metrics.