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Affordable PCIe 4.0 Performance with the DRAM-less NVMe SSD Controller from Silicon Motion, the SM2268XT


Recent events have rightfully focused attention on the Gen 5 front in the solid-state drive (SSD) client market. Yet, because of the stringent cooling requirements, it has been challenging for manufacturers to bring efficient M.2 NVMe Gen 5 SSDs to the market. When seen in this light, it would appear that Gen 4 M.2 SSDs will continue to have a significantly longer runway than what was originally anticipated. Silicon Motion is expanding their lineup of PCIe 4.0-capable NVMe SSD controllers with the introduction of a new product in order to improve their ability to serve that particular market sector. The company’s plan is not exactly a closely guarded secret, as we anticipate that their Gen 5 client controllers will become available in the fourth quarter of 2023.

In fact, ADATA has showed an end product that is based on this roadmap during the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Today, however, is the official launch date for the SM2268XT, which is a third-generation DRAM-less Gen 4 SSD controller. This controller is designed to compete in the entry-level segment of the market in terms of affordability, but to go to the high end of the market in terms of performance. The most significant improvements that have been made to the SM2268XT in comparison to the SM2267XT and the SM2269XT are an increase in the per-channel data rate from 1600 MT/s to 3200 MT/s and support for the most recent 2xx layer 3D TLC (in addition to QLC) from a variety of flash vendors. These updates have been implemented. Moreover, support for some NVMe 2.0 capabilities is included in the new controller (compared to NVMe 1.4 in the SM2267XT and SM2269XT).

The size of the LDPC engine codeword in the SM2268XT is also 4KB, just like it is in the SM2269XT (compared to 2KB in the SM2267XT). The shift to a technology with 12nm resolution also results in improved power efficiency. THE SM2268XT will go up against in-house controllers from Western Digital (such the one used in the WD BLACK SN770), the soon-to-be-released Phison E21T, and InnoGrit’s RainierQX IG5220, among other products. The SM2268XT is said to have class-leading performance numbers in each of its four corners, according to the manufacturer’s claims.

Affordable PCIe 4.0 Performance with the DRAM-less NVMe SSD Controller from Silicon Motion, the SM2268XT

According to the information provided by the firm, the SM2268XT is now being sampled to the company’s most important clients, and it is expected that the launch of SSDs that are based on it will occur very soon. Next, we anticipate the announcement of solid-state drives (SSDs) based on the new controller from the usual suspects, such as ADATA.