PC users will have to wait a little longer for PCI Express 4.0 but IBM has the technology ready to ship. We spotted a Wistron P93D2-2P server code named MiHawk at the Adata booth. The server features PCIe 4.0 with up to 64GB/s to the storage backplane from a Microsemi HBA. 16 SATA/SAS and 8 U.2 NVMe SSD ports divide the bandwidth, a 2x increase from a single PCIe 3.0 x16 HBA.
Wistron calls the MiHawk the "1st PCIe Gen 4 to enhance the I/O Data Rate". The IBM Power9 (LaGrange) processor features 4 threads per core and a massive 120MB L3 cache. The technology uses up to 8 memory channels and supports up to 4TB of system memory. Sadly, it will not play Crysis. The IBM POWER9 server runs on Linux, Ubuntu, CentOS, or SLES. Windows users will just have to wait for AMD or Intel to bring us the high-bandwidth next generation interconnect sometime in 2019.
The server on display didn't have any components inside; it's a barebones display that didn't even have the PCIe 4.0 Microsemi HBA cards installed. The big take away is that PCIe 4.0 was finalized in October 2017 and some companies have designs ready to ship.
While at Computex we learned from PCI-SIG that PCIe 5.0 has moved to 0.7. The 0.7 revision is just one step away from the final release slated for 2019. PCI-SIG has said in the past that PCIe 4.0 will be short lived due to the quick turn around for 5.0 that again doubles bandwidth. It's possible for PC makers to ignore 4.0 and focus resources on implementing 32GT/s per lane in products coming to market in 2020.
The server was used as the backdrop for the new Adata SR2000 enterprise SSD. The SR2000 ships in two form factors, the 2.5" U.2 shown here and the superior add-in card form factor. Both use enterprise-grade 3D TLC memory but the add-in card scales up to 11TB, 6GB/s performance, and up to 1 million IOPS The U.2 model also scales to 11TB but sequential performance drops to "just" 3,500 MB/s and 830,000 IOPS random performance.