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Chinese SSD Manufacturer Races Forward to PCIe 5.0

HC9001 PCIe 5.0 Controller

HC9001 PCIe 5.0 controller (Image credit: IThome)

According to a report by Chinese media IThome, Jiangsu Huacun Electronic Technology has demoed its PCIe 5.0 controller at the 2019 Nantong New Generation Information Technology Expo. The memory and storage manufacturer is optimistic that the controller will be in mass-production by the end of 2020.

It was only this year that computer hardware started to arrive with support for the PCIe 4.0 standard. Presently, PCIe 4.0 is still limited to AMD's current Ryzen desktop CPUs, Ryzen Threadripper HEDT (high-end desktop) CPU line and Epyc server processor portfolio. Intel has yet to board the PCIe 4.0 train, but is expected to do so soon.

InterfaceIntroduction DateTransfer RateTotal BandwidthEncoding
PCIe 1.020032.5 GT/s8 GB/s8b/10b
PCIe 2.020075 GT/s16 GB/s8b/10b
PCIe 3.020108 GT/s~32 GB/s128b/130b
PCIe 4.0201716 GT/s~64 GB/s128b/130b
PCIe 5.0201932 GT/s~128 GB/s128b/130b
PCIe 6.0202164 GT/s~256 GB/sPAM-4

Little is known about the HC9001 PCIe 5.0 controller. It's reportedly produced with the 12nm manufacturing process by the China National Research Institute and Jiangsu Huacun Electronic Technology. The HC9001, which is China's first domestic PCIe 5.0 controller, is gaining a lot of buzz, so perhaps we'll get more information as time progresses.

The PCIe 5.0 standard promises to deliver a throughput up to 128 GBps over a x16 slot. This is double the bandwidth of what the PCIe 4.0 interface can do. At this point, PCIe 5.0 would be overkill for the average consumer, considering that today's mainstream graphics cards and SSDs aren't fast enough to use PCIe 4.0 to its max potential. However, PCIe 5.0 will certainly be a welcomed progression in the cloud computing, big data, AI and 5G industries.

An unconfirmed Intel roadmap shows the chipmaker adopting the PCIe 5.0 standard with its forthcoming Sapphire Rapids enterprise-grade processors in 2021. So far, we haven't heard anything about PCIe 5.0 on the AMD front.

  • TJ Hooker
    The bandwidths listed are all a factor of two higher than they should be. Unless you're alluding to the fact that PCIe is full duplex, but it's still weird to be listing the bandwidth as double the per-direction bandwidth (e.g. no one describes gigabit ethernet as having 2 Gbps bandwidth).
    Reply
  • NightHawkRMX
    Personally, untill a chinese brand gains a positive reputation for reliability, i wouldn't trust this controller.
    Reply
  • hannibal
    The Main point is that pci 5 is coming maybe Sooner than it was expected. 2022 to intel? Amd ... hard to say. Intel was planning Pci4 2021, but who knows if They jump to 5.0 just to get bigger Number than amd. And we don`t know what am5 prings. Rumored ddr5, pci ??? Usb 4 2•2? All in all. The cpu, gpu and IO deparment is interesting in coming years!
    Reply
  • TomJohnson
    I think I'll wait until there is a tested, reviewed component from a country that has not already been proven to embed spyware and back doors into it's hardware and doesn't oppress it's own people. For both security and moral reasons, perhaps we should be supporting manufacturers based in more democratic countries.
    Reply
  • thisisaname
    Intel may as well skip 4 and go straight to 5, considering 4 has been out since 2017 it is a bit late to introduce it next year but it is to late to do that now considering the lead time in processor design.

    AMD is looking like 2021 with Zen 4 but it could be 2020 but I think that is unlikely. They said the would support the same socket until 2020 and the Zen 3 and the last to support the current socket.
    Reply
  • Rdslw
    if Intel would skip PCIE4.0 and go for 5.0 it could offset AMD gains from sh**load of PCIE lines by having super fast ones. As current PCIE x4 could be replaced by x1, you have 4 times the fun within same PCIE lines count....
    And that would be insanely fun move from blue side.
    Reply
  • setx
    thisisaname said:
    Intel may as well skip 4 and go straight to 5
    Idk why people keep saying this. I think there were leaks about Intel's next server platform that clearly indicated PCI-E 4.

    Rdslw said:
    if Intel would skip PCIE4.0 and go for 5.0 it could offset AMD gains from sh**load of PCIE lines by having super fast ones
    Good luck finding those PCI-E 5 1x devices. What people like to forget is that new standards don't come cheap, in terms of both price and power consumption. Only top devices will move to 5 while most controllers will remain on 3 for a long time.
    Reply
  • Rdslw
    setx said:
    Good luck finding those PCI-E 5 1x devices. What people like to forget is that new standards don't come cheap, in terms of both price and power consumption. Only top devices will move to 5 while most controllers will remain on 3 for a long time.
    I know, 90% of devices will not benefit from it for next 3-4 years :) but it would be fun, and intel needs anything that says "we can play this game" right now.
    Reply
  • cryoburner
    Rdslw said:
    I know, 90% of devices will not benefit from it for next 3-4 years : ) but it would be fun, and intel needs anything that says "we can play this game" right now.
    If by "fun" you mean paying substantially more for motherboards with hotter-running chipsets that offer no tangible performance benefits for the life of the system, then sure. : P

    On the graphics card side of things, only recently have high-end cards started bumping into the performance limitations of PCIe 2.0. It will likely be a number of years before high-end cards are limited in any significant way by PCIe 3.0, let alone 4.0.

    And with storage hardware, you start to run into diminishing returns as SSD performance increases, which is why for most tasks, one will be hard-pressed to notice much difference between a SATA SSD and a high-end NVMe model offering multiple times the theoretical performance. Such a drive might offer six or more times the sequential transfer rate of a 500MB/s SATA SSD, but for something like loading a game or application, you are not likely to see much more than a 10% difference between the two. PCIe 4.0 drives offer similar load times to the 3.0 models, and doubling that bandwidth again with 5.0 isn't going to be any different.

    At this point, it's a bit of a stretch to see the near-term benefits of PCIe 4.0 in a desktop system, let alone 5.0. Intel are rumored to be launching 5.0 for their server hardware in 2021, but it probably won't on their desktop platforms until at least a year later, and I would not be surprised if it took longer than that, since there really isn't a pressing need for more PCIe bandwidth in desktop systems right now.
    Reply
  • Rdslw
    cryoburner said:
    If by "fun" you mean paying substantially more for motherboards with hotter-running chipsets that offer no tangible performance benefits for the life of the system, then sure. : P
    I enjoy PCMR. While everyone will not gain from new system, leaving it as optional .95 board, while smaller ones can still do 3.0 and slowly bring it down gen by gen, to 90, 70, 50, 30, 10 lineups....
    if trends will keep going as they do now,
    Reply