It's a bit too early to call a winner in the working prototype category, but if such an award existed we have a current frontrunner. Today at Computex Phison displayed a working sample with the upcoming PS5007 NVMe controller. Phison doesn't sell products to retail directly, rather the company's products are branded and then pushed to market through partners like Corsair, Kingston, Patriot and MyDigitalSSD to name a few.
Phison displayed several form factors with the PS5007. Above we see two m.2 products in 512 GB and 1 TB densities. The 512 GB model was in 2280 form factor and the 1 TB is in 22110 form factor. The company also displayed an add-in card (AIC), but form factors are nothing to get excited over.
The PS5007 NVMe controller is built on TSMC's 28nm process like controllers shipping from Marvell. Most other controllers on the market use a larger 30nm to 40nm process that, in technology terms, are dinosaurs. The 28nm process allows controllers to run cooler and with less power than older lithography nodes. This leads to quieter computers and extended notebook battery life.
With up to 8 channels and 64 CE per channel, in current form the new NVMe 1.1 controller can address up to 2048 GB of capacity (2 TB). Many end users have voiced concerns with Samsung's soon-to-ship SM951-NVMe SSD that reaches maximum capacity at just 512 GB. Many users want large capacity models but it seems the industry is slow to deliver.
The key phrase in all of this is "working sample" and that is where things get interesting. Even in its early form, we observed the upcoming Phison PS5004 NVMe delivering 2700 MB/s sequential read and 1189 MB/s sequential write speeds. Random performance came in at just over 340,000 4 KB read IOPS and random write performance was just over 264,000 IOPS. We've provided images below for confirmation.
With all of the buzz leading into Computex about NVMe, very few companies are ready to turn over the mouse and keyboard for testing. Not only was Phison confident enough to hand over the reigns, but the product was ready to deliver as well.
Chris Ramseyer is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware, covering Storage. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.