Phison announces PCIe Gen 5 SSD controller expansion for ultra-fast storage
December 10, 2023

Phison announces PCIe Gen 5 SSD controller expansion for ultra-fast storage

Phison is ready to reveal additional details of its upcoming controller for SSD PS5031-E31T for PCIe 5.0 Solid State Drives. However, unlike Phison E26 controller used for today’s SSDs, the E31T is designed to consume much less power and be more efficient.

This would enable the production of PCIe 5.0 SSDs that do not require heatsinks, which has been an obstacle for SSDs with an E26 controller, especially as active cooling solutions have become more and more necessary.

Although we’ve known about the E31T controller for a few months now, Phison has been pretty quiet since first announcing it. Unlike the E26, which stops at around 14,800MB/s read and 12,800MB/s write, the E31T has a target transfer speed of 10,800MB/s both read and write.

That performance level is roughly between first-generation and second-generation E26-equipped PCIe 5.0 SSDs, which hit between 10,000MB/s and 12,000MB/s.

While the performance regression is bad news, the possibility of PCIe 5.0 SSDs that may not even require a cooler at all is a big deal.

Phison E31T SSD controllers will not be faster than E26, but they will consume less power and heat up less

This will make PCIe 5.0 SSDs suitable for laptops and other portable devices, and PC users will be happy that they don’t have to use a large M.2 heatsink and in some cases a small fan. And while high-end devices with E26 will be much faster than those using E31T, 10,800MB/s is still much faster than what the best PCIe 4.0 SSDs are capable of achieving.

Phison is not the only one working on such a controller, as Silicon Motion is also working on something similar. Their SM2508 controller has a maximum consumption of 3.5 watts, significantly less than the E26 which consumes 5 watts. The SM2508 is also rated at 14,500MB/s read and 14,000MB/s write, well ahead of the E31T.

However, Silicon Motion’s controller is not expected to appear in SSDs until 2025, which may be later than the Phison E31T. We expect the E31T to appear at CES in January, according to Phison’s CES promotional materialwhich also mentions the E31T along with the E26.