One of the underlying themes of this year’s Computex was the number of PCIe 4.0 SSDs on display (or lack thereof). At present it seems that only drives powered by Phison’s E16 controller might be ready for mass market, although depending on which company you ask, some of them are happy to go with the turn-key solution for quicker time to market, while others want to sit back and tweak the firmware for better performance, but will release later. The Essencore drive at the show however has one feature none of the other drives has.

The Phison E16 controller is built to use either Toshiba NAND flash, Micron NAND flash, or SK Hynix NAND flash. All the designs we saw at Computex used one of the first two – no-one was willing to commit to SK Hynix NAND at this point. However, given that Essencore is a family brand of SK Hynix, it doesn’t take much to put two and two together. Given the specifications at the booth, it would appear that the Hynix NAND is still easily sufficient to hit the 4.8 GB/s limit of the E16 controller.

Speaking with our PR rep at Essencore, it would appear that the company is still debating how and when to put a PCIe 4.0 SSD on the market, and if using the Phison E16 solution is the right idea. The company may wait until newer controllers are available before pursuing the product line. We await more information later in the year.

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  • evilspoons - Wednesday, June 5, 2019 - link

    I love the "Gen 4" awkwardly stuck on top of what is presumably a display for a PCIe Gen 3 device. Top notch display guys, lol.
  • TheUnhandledException - Wednesday, June 5, 2019 - link

    More like a last minute typo. You aren't getting 4.8 GB/s on a PCIe 3 x4 link. However the marketing wonks have been creating copy with PCIe 3.0 on everything for years now.
  • Skeptical123 - Wednesday, June 5, 2019 - link

    If that is NAND chips from different manufactures are different enough it would be cool to see a NVMe drive use chips from more than one supplier. To unitized the benefit from different NAND chips. I assume this won't work because I assume for the controller to work it needs all the memory chips to be the same. Even if that was the case a custom driver could make it work which might be just be viable for some company down the road.
    "The Phison E16 controller is built to use either Toshiba NAND flash, Micron NAND flash, or SK Hynix NAND flash."

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