Silicon Motion Announces MonTitan PCIe 5 SSD Controller For Lightning Fast 14GB/s SSDs

Silicon Motion MonTitan SSD controller
This year's Flash Memory Summit event is right around the corner, but storage makers aren't necessarily waiting to unveil their latest bleeding edge offerings. Silicon Motion sure isn't—it has announced its MonTitan (SM8366) solid state drive (SSD) controller to power blazing fast PCI Express 5.0 storage solutions in the data center.

MonTitan arrives right on schedule. During a conference call in February 2021, Silicon Motion president and CEO Wallace C. Kou said its PCIe Gen 5 enterprise SSD controllers would begin sampling in the second half of 2022. And so here we are, with Silicon Motion unveiling its first PCIe 5 SSD controller and planning to showcase it at the Flash Memory Summit next week.

"SSD storage solutions are evolving to address new challenges in data centers which demand changes in storage platforms and operating models," said Nelson Duann, Silicon Motion's senior vice president of marketing and R&D. "Our MonTitan SSD solution is an innovative PCIe Gen5 SSD platform designed to satisfy the unique demands of data centers today while providing flexibility and programmability to meet future evolving standards."

Silicon Motion says its MonTitan controller is based on an entirely new platform featuring a purpose-built SM8366 ASIC. It sports a 16-channel NAND interface supporting up to 2,400 MT/s. Combined with custom firmware and fancy algorithms tuned for performance and QoS, Silicon Motion says MonTitan can top 14GB/s of sequential write performance. Random read and write performance checks in at 3 million 4K IOPS and 2.8 million 4K IOPS, respectively.

In terms for sequential performance, 14GB/s gets fair close to the theoretical upper limits of PCIe 5.0 x4, which is around 16GB/s. That's not accounting for overhead and other real-world barriers. Silicon Motion's latest controller also supports monstrous capacities for data center storage—up to 128TB.

Silicon Motion says it plans to sample its MonTitan controller to early engagement partners in the fourth quarter of this year.