Silicon Motion estimates that laptop-compatible PCIe 5.0 SSDs could hit the market in late 2024
In early 2022, Phison was presenting its first PCIe 5.0 NVMe SSD controllers for desktops that needed active cooling solutions due to the higher power requirements leading to considerably more radiating heat. Phison noted at that time that it was already working on solutions to circumvent the need for active cooling on laptops, but no timeline was given in this regard. Meanwhile, at CES 2023, MSI showcased its PCIe 5.0 Spatium M570 Pro SSDs mounted on early Raptor Lake-powered laptop prototypes with no apparent active cooling for storage, and, yet again, no actual release date was provided for such models. A report from Chinese site ITHome now claims that Silicon Motion is readying special controllers for the first laptop-compatible PCIe 5.0 SSDs, which may hit the market in late 2024.
Admittedly, we have not seen too many desktop PCIe 5.0 SSDs to date either. However, as suggested by Liu Yaoren, Huirong Technology / Silicon Motion Product Planning Manager, the situation should change as quite a few SSD makers are expected to launch PCIe 5.0 models by the end of 2023 and early 2024. SiliconMotion is already supplying the SM2504XT to SSD makers, while Phison is offering the E26 controller, so we can expect new models from Samsung, WD and Adata in the coming months.
Silicon Motion is also developing a new SM2508 PCIe 5.0 controller for smaller devices like laptops. Unlike Phison’s controllers that get quite hot without proper active cooling, the SM2508 is optimized with TSMC’s 6 nm transistors for increased power efficiency. The controller integrates a dual-core Cortex R8 processor and supports 8 NAND channels with up to 3600 MT/s. In this respect, the SM2508 is more efficient than the high-end SM2504XT, as it requires only 3.5 W to reach up to 14 GB/s read and write speeds and 2.5 million IOPS without the need for active cooling.