PCIe 5.0 NVMe SSDs Approaching Blazing-Fast 16GB/sec Speeds Slated For 2022 Debut

marvell bravera sc5 hero
It seems like just yesterday when we first basked in the glory of PCIe 4.0 SSDs. But in actuality, we've experienced 5,000+ MB/sec sequential read and write speeds for the past two years. PCIe 4.0 was first enabled for consumer PC platforms with AMD Zen 2/X570 in mid-2019 and SSDs have only gotten faster in the years since. Today, the fastest PCIe 4.0 SSDs can achieve sequential read speeds above 7GB/sec.

With Intel's Alder Lake platform fast approaching, all eyes are turning to the next-generation PCIe 5.0 interface and the speed benefits that it will bring. TrendForce indicates that the first PCIe 5.0 SSDs will emerge in 2022, which should kick off another massive leap in storage performance.

"Intel and AMD are expected to kick off mass production of Eagle Stream and Genoa CPUs, respectively, in 1H22," said TrendForce in its latest market report. "TrendForce's investigations indicate that NAND Flash suppliers have been fast-tracking their production of PCIe G5 SSDs in response to the upcoming mass production of Eagle Stream. As such, these SSDs are likely to see market release between 2Q22 and 3Q22."

It should be noted that the PCIe 4.0 x4 interface has a theoretical maximum bandwidth of 8GB/sec. SSDs like the Patriot Viper VP4300 are already approaching the limits of the x4 interface with maximum sequential reads of 7.4GB/sec. A PCIe 5.0 x4 interface would double the theoretical maximum from 8GB/sec to 16GB/sec, which already has us salivating at the performance possibilities.

Among the first companies that will be pumping out PCIe 5.0 SSD controllers will be Marvell. In late May, Marvell announced its Bravera SC5 SSD controller, which supports PCIe 5.0 and NVMe 1.4b. The controller will be available in both 8- and 16-channel versions with maximum sequential reads and writes of 14GB/sec and 9GB/sec, respectively.

We're confident that companies like Samsung, Silicon Motion, and Phison will also be on the move with their own competing PCIe 5.0 controllers.