According to a report by IT Home, Huirong Technology / SiliconMotion Product Planning Manager Liu Yaoren expects manufacturers to start introducing PCIe Gen 5 SSDs into laptop computers by the end of 2024, finally ending PCIe Gen 5 SSD exclusivity on desktops.
Powering some of these first SSDs will be Huirong’s new SM2508 PCie Gen 5 SSD controller, which is rated at up to 14GB/s in read and write speeds and will consume far less power than competing solutions like the Phison E26 controller, with a power output of just 3.5W (for the controller alone) vs 5W on the E26.
At the FMW 2023 Flash Memory Summit, Liu Yaoren updated the specs of the new SM2508, confirming it is using a TSMC 6nm process node and has a built-in dual-core Coretex R8 CPU with support for symmetric multi-processing technology (SMP). The new controller will also support 8 NAND channels at speeds of up to 3600 MT/s, 400MT/s faster than what was previously reported, and matching the channel speed of Silicon Motion’s higher-end SM2504XT.
Getting PCIe Gen 5 SSDs to work in laptops has been years in the making. Laptops featuring Gen 5 support were first spotted at CES 2023, where MSI unveiled several new Raptor Lake gaming laptops with some sporting PCIe Gen 5 capable M.2 slots. Demos of the Gen 5-equipped laptops, paired with MSI’s Spatium 570 Pro, were also shown featuring read speeds of up to 12.3GB/s and write speeds of nearly 9GB/s. An impressive feat for an early adaptation.
However, PCIe Gen 5 SSDs designed for notebooks are still not ready yet, with controllers like the SM2508 apparently still in development. The problem is that current Gen 5 SSDs consume far too much power and produce too much heat for a notebook to handle, forcing SSD controller manufacturers to create low-power controllers that can still output read and write speeds beyond the PCIe Gen 4 specification.
But apparently, this issue will be behind us soon, now that we know that PCIe Gen 5 SSDs are coming by the end of this year. For now, the only drive announced with the SM2508 controller comes from Adata, but we can expect more manufacturers to announce future drives with the SM2508 in the coming months.