November is almost over and the announced PCIe 5.0 SSDs are still not available for consumers. There is a sign of life in the form of a performance demo from the Japanese manufacturer Nextorage. The prototype M.2 SSD with Phison E26 controller achieves 10 GB/s.
The test pattern that Nextorage demonstrated to YouTuber @Shimizu_OC was common M.2-2280 format. The Phison E26 (PS5026) can be seen prominently on the board, which is considerably larger than the Phison E18 with PCIe 4.0. The identification of the two NAND packages identifies the memory as Micron's 232-layer TLC-NAND (B58R). A DRAM chip from SK Hynix can also be identified.
PCIe Gen5 SSD速すぎワロタw
—清水 貴裕 (@Shimizu_OC) November 26, 2022
The demo was run on an Intel system with Z790 chipset. In CrystalDiskMark, which is often used for such purposes, a peak of around 10 GB/s was achieved in sequential reading and writing. This is far from the limit of the PCIe 5.0 x4 interface and Phison himself had already promised up to 13.5 GB/s for the E26.
But it turns out again that the pre-series models don't do much more than 10 GB/s. The suspected cause is that the NAND flash used is not fast enough. Micron's 232-layer NAND should be fast enough, but there have been reports that the samples only work with a 1,600 MT/s NAND interface and thus do not yet have the maximum possible 2,400 MT/s. According to an unconfirmed report from September, the yield of Micron chips capable of 2,400 MT/s should still be small.
Where to stay the PCIe 5.0 debutants?
They were only supposed to appear shortly after the presentation of the Ryzen 7000 in October, then there was only talk of November. But this month is now coming to an end and there is still no trace of the finished PCIe 5.0 SSDs.
It is now considered unlikely that these will appear this year. Rather, it is assumed that the CES 2023 in January will only be used to present the new products.