Among a mountain of new product announcements at CES, ADATA previewed three upcoming high-end consumer SSDs supporting PCIe 4.0. These will launch under their XPG gaming-oriented brand, and will serve to complement or replace the existing XPG Gammix S50, which ADATA's current PCIe 4.0 SSD based on the Phison E16 controller. The E16 launched last summer and is so far the only consumer PCIe 4.0 SSD controller shipping in retail SSDs. Phison's own E18 follow-up controller is expected to arrive around Q3, but before then we'll see other competitors start to deliver their own PCIe 4.0 SSD controllers.

ADATA tries out SSD controllers from almost everyone in the market, but their most popular SSDs in recent years rely on Silicon Motion controllers. The SM2262 and SM2262EN controllers are used in ADATA's best-performing PCIe 3.0 SSDs. For PCIe 4.0, Silicon Motion will replace those with the high-end SM2264 8-channel controller and the more mainstream SM2267 4-channel controller. Thanks to supporting much faster NAND interface speeds, the SM2267 should be able to offer performance comparable to current-generation 8-channel controllers, which means most of the extra bandwidth provided by the upgrade to PCIe 4.0 will go unused by the SM2267. Still, at 4GB/s for sequential reads, 3GB/s for sequential writes, and 400k IOPS for random IO, this is not by any measure a low-end solution. ADATA will be using the SM2267 in the XPG Pearl.

ADATA's drive using the Silicon Motion SM2264 will be the XPG Indigo. This should hit 7GB/s for sequential reads, more or less saturating the PCIe 4.0 x4 interface. Sequential writes will be a bit slower at around 6GB/s, and random IO speeds will get up to 700k IOPS.

Lastly and perhaps most interesting is the XPG Sage, one of a handful of upcoming products using the Rainier controller from newcomer Innogrit. This is currently promising the highest performance: 7GB/s reads, 6.1GB/s writes, and 1M IOPS for random IO. Those minor increases in top-line performance numbers relative to the XPG Indigo won't matter to real-world consumer usage, and whether the Sage or Indigo is the better overall performer may come down to which controller architecture offers better performance at low queue depths.

The release dates for ADATA's upcoming PCIe 4.0 SSDs have not been set, and it's not yet clear whether the Innogrit or Silicon Motion solutions will be ready to ship first. Of the three new drives, only the Innogrit-based Sage was featured in live demos at ADATA's CES 2020 exhibit. It appears unlikely that any of them will ship until around Computex (June) at the earliest. All three drives are currently planned to be offered in capacities up to 4TB using 96L TLC NAND—but for at least the Sage, ADATA hasn't decided whether to use Toshiba or Micron TLC.

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  • vFunct - Monday, January 20, 2020 - link

    Unless if you're running a database server, there's no real-world use case that saturates 600MB/s of random 4k access.

    Zero use case.
    Reply
  • yeeeeman - Saturday, January 18, 2020 - link

    Companies sell numbers these days... Reply
  • Makaveli - Monday, January 20, 2020 - link

    These days?

    Has been going on since the dawn of time.
    Reply
  • Alexvrb - Sunday, January 19, 2020 - link

    I would ALSO prefer *insert thing that doesn't exist* rather than getting achievable improvements. Even when said achievable improvements are in areas that are measurable, and provide a boost in a number of real workloads for consumers.

    Saratoga4 nailed it, you are asking for RAM performance. We might get close someday with NV mass storage but in the meantime why stall all other improvements? In the meantime you can buy the highest end enterprise hardware, that's about as close as you're going to get.
    Reply
  • Tomatotech - Friday, January 17, 2020 - link

    OoOoOoO maxing PCIe 4.0 and it's only just become available to the masses OoOoOoO

    Also looking forward to raising random r/w as that is the most important speed stat and has lagged for a while now, but now it's the only thing that can improve (apart from capacity and cheapness).

    I quite like ADATA at the moment. They've gone from releasing scores of shitty forgettable devices a few years ago to releasing some really rather good stuff. I have their XPG SX8200 1TB m.2 device and it's working well. The sequel, the SX8200 Pro, is wildly popular with MacBook owners seeking to upgrade their MacBooks.
    Reply
  • Alistair - Saturday, January 18, 2020 - link

    looking for the first 100MB/s random read SSD (not optane) Reply
  • PixyMisa - Saturday, January 18, 2020 - link

    Use a block size bigger than 4k and you can have that right now. Reply
  • haukionkannel - Saturday, January 18, 2020 - link

    Interesting to see real usage test... first gen Pci4.0 ssd have no any speed adwantage compared to pci3.0 drives in real world usage. Optane is still years ahead in that department. So far Pci4.0 is only usefull in peak big file transfer... So interesting to see if any of these new controllers gives any benefit in real usage cases! Reply
  • Snowleopard3000 - Saturday, January 18, 2020 - link

    PCI 5 is following PCI 4 so fast that why are they even wasting the effort for PCI 4? Reply
  • Makaveli - Saturday, January 18, 2020 - link

    We don't see PCIe 5 in the market anytime soon.

    You got a source for this assumption?

    It will show up in the enterprise market probably in 2021.
    Reply

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