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An Overview of the Phison E26 Solid-State Drive in PCI Express 5.0


In the first quarter of this year, the Phison PS5026-E26 SSD controller will make the performance of PCIe 5.0 accessible to the general public. The outstanding 176-layer NAND flash that is used in a broad variety of products can be improved upon with Micron’s new 232-layer TLC, which is paired with it in our reference design sample. The end result is extraordinary sequential speeds and enormous potential IOPS, however these benefits are not entirely without their share of limitations. In order to achieve and keep the highest possible levels of performance, high-end PCIe 5.0 SSDs will need to have adequate cooling and the appropriate platform.

This mentality is reflected in the E26, and sooner rather than later, manufacturers will start marketing solid-state drives (SSDs) based on the controller. PCIe 5.0 drives can provide very high levels of sequential performance, but the newer controllers can also raise the IOPS threshold for heavier workloads. This blows past all of the PCIe 4.0 contenders on our current list of the top solid-state drives (SSDs). This should not come as much of a surprise given that the E26 is based on the concept of an enterprise controller, and that it really offers enterprise functionalities that are optionally available.

These drives will also be among the first to have cutting-edge flash, which will improve both the drives’ latency as well as their power efficiency. Although we did not observe any immediate benefits with the E26 in either of these two areas, the technology will be refined, and the future DirectStorage API should also benefit from the additional speed increases across the board. However, exceeding the limitations is important in order to make the most of the expanding PCIe bandwidth that is available. For the time being, it does feel a little bit like overkill. This drive demonstrates that it can easily outperform alternatives that require PCIe 4.0.


An Overview of the Phison E26 Solid-State Drive in PCI Express 5.0

The sequential read and write speeds of the Phison E26 ES (engineering sample) solid-state drive (SSD) are rated at up to 11,800 and 14,000 MB per second, respectively, and the random read and write speeds are rated at 1,500 and 2,000 K IOPS, respectively. PCIe 5.0 solid-state drives (SSDs) are capable of virtually doubling the sequential read performance of PCIe 4.0 SSDs because to their use of the Phison E18 controller. This particular SSD is a PCIe 5.0 SSD. Maximum IOPS has also seen a notable growth in recent years. The actual performance will vary depending not just on the type and quantity of flash but also on the platform itself. In point of fact, performance variations may be more noticeable with PCIe 5.0 solid-state drives (SSDs), and it may even come down to which M.2 or PCIe slot is used for the drive.