T-Head, Alibaba's chipmaking arm, has introduced its first SSD controller with a PCIe Gen5 interface. The Zhenyue 510 uses custom cores featuring the RISC-V instruction set architecture and is designed primarily for cloud storage applications, including artificial intelligence, big-data analysis, large databases, software-defined storage, and online transactions, reports the state-controlled GlobalTimes.
T-Head hasn't yet disclosed all the specifications of the Zhenyue 510 controller, but it says that it uses the company's own Xuantie C910 RISC-V cores, DDR5 as cache buffer, and a PCIe 5.0 interface to communicate with its host, according to DigiTimes. The massive compute performance of the Zhenyue 510 enables the usage of improved error correction and signal processing algorithms and supports innovative types of memory. Furthermore, the controller enables 30% lower input/output latencies compared to competing offerings, reports Gizmochina.
Given what has been disclosed about the Zhenyue 510 controller so far, we theorize we are looking at a chip designed for high-end enterprise-grade SSDs that support tens of terabytes of 3D NAND memory and enterprise-grade reliability and performance-enhancing features. For example, a 30% lower input/output latency is particularly beneficial for data-intensive operations, such as AI training and inference and big data analysis, common in Alibaba Cloud's data centers where the Zhenyue 510 will be initially deployed.
Development of T-Head's Zhenyue 510 SSD controller started in the first half of 2021, so given a normal development, testing, and validating cycle, expect drives based on the new chip to be deployed in the coming quarters.
It is noteworthy that T-Head's Zhenyue 510 SSD is not the first PCIe Gen5 SSD controller designed entirely in China. Yingren reportedly said it had commenced mass production of its PCIe 5.0-supporting SSD controller, the YR S900.
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Anton Shilov is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Over the past couple of decades, he has covered everything from CPUs and GPUs to supercomputers and from modern process technologies and latest fab tools to high-tech industry trends.
Hope we can get some independent verification of these metrics. I'd assume their comparison target was something ancient and low performing from actual current controllers.Reply
who cares, its a RISCV nvme controller which is incredible. if it was a US or EU company you'd be lauding it. The Alibaba T-Head RiSCV chips are pretty solid and honest in their claims of performance. nvme companies on the other hand continually lie and substitute slower parts. Phison's claimed controller speeds never match claims.HaninTH said:Hope we can get some independent verification of these metrics. I'd assume their comparison target was something ancient and low performing from actual current controllers.