Sweet Silicon Motion; Meet Your New PCIe 4.0 NVMe Controllers
Sorry For The Wait; Here’s Three Courses At Once
The wait for new PCIe 4.0 controllers has come to an end and we should start to see some interesting PCIe 4.0 SSDs arriving on the market. Western Digital recently announced their new WD Black line of SSDs will sport an in-house designed controller and today Silicon Motion announced three new controllers, the SM2264, SM2267 and SM2267XT each designed for a specific purpose.
The SM2264 is the star of the show, designed for high end users and interesting, automotive purposes. It consists of a quad-core ARM Cortex R8 built on TSMC’s 12nm FinFET process and can handle TLC or QLC NAND. It is rated at up to sequential read/writes of 7,400/6,800 MBs respectively, and random read/write speeds of up to 1 million IOPs and will feel right at home in a new PC. It also supports Single Root I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV) which is a PCI Express Extended capability that allows the SSD to appear as multiple virtual drives; this is a feature used in vehicles to allow multiple systems to make use of a single drive.
For more mainstream usage the SM2267 controller consists of a dual core ARM R5 built on TSMC’s 28nm process and also handles either QLC or TLC NAND. As a mainstream drive it is not quite as impressive as the SM2264, offering a ‘mere’ 3,900/3,500 MBs peak sequential read/write and up 500K IOPS random performance. Like the SM2264 the SM2267 is designed to work with an onboard DRAM cache to provide this performance.
For the value segment of the market is the cache optional SM2267XT, which uses the same technology as the non-XT version but with the lack of DRAM based host memory buffering you will see random reads drop to 200K IOPS. That is the only compromise on the SM2267XT, you should expect sequential speeds and random writes to match the SM2267. It is also available in a small form factor as you can see below.
These four new PCIe 4.0 controllers are all four lane and use the NVMe 1.4 protocol; though only the SM2264 has eight flash channels while the other two make due with four. The latter SM2267 and SM2267XT are in volume production and we should see products released in the not too distant future. The SM2264 is currently being sampled to manufacturers, so there will be a bit of a wait to see drives using that controller arrive on the market, but hopefully not too long.
Silicon Motion today announced a new portfolio of PCIe 4.0 NVMe 1.4 controller solutions to address performance, mainstream and value SSD applications. The portfolio consists of SM2264 for performance, SM2267 for mainstream and SM2267XT for value DRAM-less client SSDs.