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SSDs Based on Phison's PS5018-E18 Controller to Hit 7.4 GB/s Sequential Read Speed

(Image credit: Phison)

Phison was the first company in the world to introduce an SSD controller with a PCIe 4.0 interface last year, which allowed it to capture a significant chunk of the high-end client SSD market. Now that most of its industry peers have launched their first-gen PCIe 4.0 SSD controllers, Phison wants to stay ahead, and if preliminary performance figures for a Phison PS5018-E18-based SSD are accurate, it has a good chance to maintain performance leadership. 

The Phison PS5018-E18 is the company's 2nd-gen controller for high-end client SSDs with a PCIe 4.0 x4 interface. Based on three Arm Cortex-R5 cores and made using TSMC's 12 nm process technology, the controller supports eight NAND channels at a 1200 MT/s speed with 32 CE targets. The controller features Phison's 4th-gen LPDC ECC engine and supports the NVMe 1.4 protocol.  

Phison officially says that its PS5018-E18 controller can enable up to 7,000 MB/s sequential read and write speeds as well as 1,000K/1,000K read/write IOPS. Apparently, the controller can actually hit higher speeds. 

According to preliminary benchmark results published by TweakTown, the controller can hit a sequential read speed of 7,381 MB/s and a sequential write speed of 7,025 MB/s in CrystalDiskMark 7.0.0. To put the number into context, Samsung rates its 980 Pro SSD for an up to 7,000 MB/s sequential read speed as well as an up to 5,000 MB/s sequential write speed.

(Image credit: Phison)

Right now, Phison is sampling its SSDs powered by the PS5018-E18 with its customers. Typically, the company offers its partners multiple versions of its SSDs with different firmware and allows them to pick the one they think works best for them. That said, certain firmware versions may let the drive show extreme sequential write speeds, yet this does not automatically guarantee that commercial SSDs using the same processor will offer the same results.  

Early benchmark results should always be taken with a grain of salt. Furthermore, CrystalDiskMark 7.0.0 demonstrates peak performance, but it is not indicative of performance in real-world applications. At the same time, performance numbers for Phison's PS5018-E18 SSDs look very promising, and it is possible that the company will maintain its lead in the high-performance segment in the coming quarters. 

  • ThisIsMe
    Phison's PS5019-E19 PCIe 4.0 controller is confirmed to be what's in the Seagate expansion SSD for the Xbox Series X/S consoles. That's already a pretty big win right there.
    Reply
  • Dsplover
    I’ve bought Samsung’s and any brand with a Phison controllers.

    Don’t really need the top end bandwidth, but it comes w/ super low latency and great random reads.

    If it writes really Thats fine.

    E18 based Sabrent Rocket Plus is what I’m waiting for.
    Reply
  • nofanneeded
    I dont think that we can feel the difference between 3GB/s and 7GB/s ... I wish some day I read "we reached such and such IOPS" instead of sequential bla bla speed ...
    Reply
  • 2Be_or_Not2Be
    Dsplover said:
    I’ve bought Samsung’s and any brand with a Phison controllers.

    Don’t really need the top end bandwidth, but it comes w/ super low latency and great random reads.

    If it writes really Thats fine.

    E18 based Sabrent Rocket Plus is what I’m waiting for.

    Super-low latency is where Optane shines. Now if they could just get the price down to the level of at least the Samsung drives...
    Reply
  • nofanneeded
    2Be_or_Not2Be said:
    Super-low latency is where Optane shines. Now if they could just get the price down to the level of at least the Samsung drives...

    Intel lowering prices on exclusive technology ? hahahahaha
    Reply
  • 2Be_or_Not2Be
    This is Phison's 2nd iteration of a PCIe 4.0-based controller, and for a 2nd effort, I'm slightly surprised that their hardware specs for the E18 sound a bit lower than some of the specs for Silicon Motion's first PCIe 4.0 controller, the SM2264. That controller is said to support 8 NAND channels as well but up to 1600MT/s. Phison's E18 says it's at 1200MT/s. I guess we'll see the real performance when they can be tested head-to-head.

    As an aside - both of those controllers show that Samsung really didn't do as well as they should have with the 980 Pro, though. :(
    Reply
  • 2Be_or_Not2Be
    nofanneeded said:
    Intel lowering prices on exclusive technology ? hahahahaha

    Yeah, I know! :)

    However, maybe Micron will surprise us with some new 3DXpoint stuff themselves, in addition the X100 they've already released. I would think both Intel and Micron would want to start pushing more 3D Xpoint into the market, and thus set those divisions up for higher volume & more sales going forward. They could be cash cows for a number of years!
    Reply
  • GeekyOne
    nofanneeded said:
    I dont think that we can feel the difference between 3GB/s and 7GB/s ... I wish some day I read "we reached such and such IOPS" instead of sequential bla bla speed ...
    Exactly. I don't understand the marketing hoopla around sequential r/w. That's a very limited, specialized use case. What matters to 99.9% of users is IOPS and latency. Samsung's own website doesn't even publish IOPS for their 980 Pro, so we only get numbers from 3rd party reviews. :-(
    Reply
  • Makaveli
    GeekyOne said:
    Exactly. I don't understand the marketing hoopla around sequential r/w. That's a very limited, specialized use case. What matters to 99.9% of users is IOPS and latency. Samsung's own website doesn't even publish IOPS for their 980 Pro, so we only get numbers from 3rd party reviews. :-(

    Big numbers sell and most users don't know the difference.
    Reply
  • Dsplover
    2Be_or_Not2Be said:
    Super-low latency is where Optane shines. Now if they could just get the price down to the level of at least the Samsung drives...

    ‘If ASRock Rack makes another Intel non Xeon like mATX just for Speed I might have to snag a pair due to 1U designs. 905P 480s are in my budget, the 1TB are way up there.

    Still use an NVMe for OS + Apps like the Sabrent E18.

    We’ll see..
    Reply