We first discussed Phison's upcoming NVMe SSD controller, dubbed the PS5008-E8, last January. We recently learned that Phison's retail partners would bring the controller to market next month to target the entry-level NVMe market that Intel currently dominates with the 600p.
We were told to expect E8-based SSDs in capacities of 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB. Prices are said to be less than the current 600p and Phison's own E7-based products like the MyDigitalSSD BPX.
The controller uses a PCIe 3.0 x2 interface for both M.2 and add-in card form factors. Phison took a chance with the two-lane interface to reduce system power consumption, which increases notebook battery life. Other emerging SSD processors in this space use four lanes to increase burst performance, but the low-cost products lack the processing power to sustain high performance levels. Phison designed the E8 controller to work with emerging 3D NAND technology.
Low-Cost NVMe Performance
We brought a Phison PS5008-E8 reference design drive back with us from the Flash Memory Summit for further testing. Phison hasn’t fully optimized the early sample for performance or power consumption, but we didn't have any issues in our lab. The drive outperformed both the Intel 600p and Western Digital Black PCIe during typical consumer desktop workloads. Phison and its partners will validate and optimize the controller over the coming month. We should see products in the channel from Corsair, Patriot, MyDigitalSSD, and others soon.
MORE: Best SSDs
MORE: How We Test HDDs And SSDs
MORE: All SSD Content