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posted by FatPhil on Tuesday September 28 2021, @01:24AM   Printer-friendly
from the chip-crisis?-what-chip-crisis? dept.

Blazing fast PCIe 5.0 SSD prototype hits sequential read speeds of 14,000 MB/s:

Advancements in the storage segment are the unsung heroes in today's world of computing. While many users tend to focus on the speed of their CPU, GPU or even the higher refresh rate of their displays, the increasingly quick solid state drives are in part responsible for the performance improvements of Sony's and Microsoft's next-gen consoles. But while the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S rely on PCIe 4.0 SSDs, a Japanese memory manufacturer is already finalizing the development of its blazing fast PCIe 5.0 storage solutions.

In a recent presentation, Kioxia has now revealed how quick PCIe 5.0 SSDs can truly be. While the throughput of the PCIe 5.0 interface at 32GB/s per lane is exactly twice as high compared to PCIe 4.0, the company's first prototype has apparently reached sequential read speeds as high as 14,000MB/s. That is also twice as fast as Kioxia's currently top of the line PCIe 4.0 drive.

Even though these read speeds certainly seem impressive, the write speeds of Kioxia's PCIe 5.0 SSD are similarly spectacular. The official benchmark says the drive can reach sequential write speeds of 7,000MB/s, which is a 67% improvement to the predecessor. Overall, these speeds seem to be absolute overkill for most use cases, which is why these drives are intended for use in a professional server setting. Nevertheless, the rapid advancements in storage speeds certainly deserve more attention than the often incremental upgrades in the CPU and GPU sector.

Of course, there's more to storage than speed, there's reliability, for example. Would any gamers want to prove the "professional server setting" assumption wrong?

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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Rich on Tuesday September 28 2021, @10:39AM (2 children)

    by Rich (945) on Tuesday September 28 2021, @10:39AM (#1182152) Journal

    Had to look up what signaling is used on the wires. Wiki says 32GBaud (with 130/128 encoding). This bitrate means that the interface is 4-lane (out of possible 16). 32GHz is really a lot. Less than a centimeter of light wavelength. You probably can forget much of your electronics education for that and have to use special methods for guided radio signals. (Although they still use differential signaling).

    The drive side controller can have a single DDR4-4800 for those speeds, but for sustained transfers they'd have to smarten up the path to the flash cells. It wouldn't be black magic to have lots of parallel controllers for that, but someone has got to do it in the first place. Kioxia is Japanese (ex Toshiba Storage) and these like to have only incremental improvements to keep their long-term market going. With the basic technical blocks in place, a x16 bus and a wider backend could do four times as much, if datacenter throughput was really the main aim. Also, the presentation is in Chinese, which gives you an idea about the target audience. So "professional server setting" just means "we'll make it expensive until we can't anymore".

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  • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Tuesday September 28 2021, @05:25PM (1 child)

    by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {}> on Tuesday September 28 2021, @05:25PM (#1182309) Homepage
    Baud != Hz
    Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Rich on Tuesday September 28 2021, @10:59PM

      by Rich (945) on Tuesday September 28 2021, @10:59PM (#1182472) Journal

      Baud = Symbols/Second. Up to PCIe 5 they use a scrambled NRZ variant, which packs a bit per cycle. Its 32 GBaud effectively equal 32 GHz in required line frequency. Only for PCIe 6, they changed to PAM signaling, again at 32 GBaud, but with four levels to pack two bits for 64 Gbps.