Silicon Motion Reveals When Laptops With PCIe 5.0 SSDs Will Finally Arrive

silicon motion sm2508 PCIe Gen5 SSD controller hero
Silicon Motion is one of the leading producers of NVMe PCIe SSD controllers. At the recent Flash Memory Summit one of the firm’s senior managers reportedly indicated that the first laptops packing PCIe 5.0 SSDs will hit retail by the end of 2024. According to Chinese tech media, Silicon Motion’s Product Planning Manager, Liu Yaoren, brought up the subject of PCIe 5.0 SSDs and laptop PCs in a keynote speech at FMS2023.

China’s ITHome ties Liu’s statement in with the yet to be released SM2508 SSD controller. The new controller is headlined as both a high performance and low power product, and it will address storage markets as diverse as workstations, desktops and laptops, it is claimed.

In the slide below, you can see the key specs for the upcoming SM2508, and it does indeed seem to be potent. We have already seen PCIe 5.0 SSDs with the headlining 14GB/s transfers, so it would have been welcome to see some of the comparative efficiency and power consumption figures on the slide.

silicon motion sm2508 PCIe Gen5 SSD controller

Thankfully, ITHome notes that the SM2508 can strut its stuff using 3.5W or less, making it an “ultra-low power consumption” class of device that is indeed a good choice for notebooks. For context, the popular Phison PS5026-E26 PCIe 5.0 SSD controller can eat up to 5W when under duress.

The PCIe 5.0 storage era is already here for desktop PCs, but the drives are currently quite notorious for generating a lot of heat. It is often recommended that they are fitted with big heatsinks, or even active cooling, to prevent issues such as thermal throttling, or even shutdowns. Thus, we hope that the SM2508 can cool things back down, especially for laptop users who would typically prefer a fanless storage solution.

A major ingredient of the secret sauce which is helping Silicon Motion’s SM2508 run at lower power is thought to be its dual-core Arm Cortex R8 processor with SMP built using TSMC’s 6nm process technology. Phison’s PS5026-E26 is produced using TSMC 12nm process technology.