Samsung acquires a PCI 5.0 SSD that can reach read speeds of 13,000MB/s

Samsung teased a PCIe 5.0 SSD that shows storage products should continue to double in speed every few years, even while Moore’s Law slows. Designed for enterprise servers, the PM1743 hard drive can reach read speeds of up to 13,000 MB/s and handle 2,500 thousand input/output operations per second (IOPS) — nearly twice what the best PCIe 4.0 NVMe drives can do.

PCIe 5.0 supports up to 32 gigabytes per second (GT/s), twice that of PCIe 4.0. To harness this bandwidth, Samsung developed a proprietary controller and worked with Intel to test it. “Together we have resolved the complex technical issues we encountered with PCIe 5.0 during this initial evaluation period,” said Jim Pappas, director of Intel Technology Initiatives.

The SSD offers sequential write speeds of 6600MB/s and random write speed of 250K IOPS, which again roughly doubles the current specifications. It also provides improved energy efficiency of up to 30 percent. “This is expected to significantly lower server and data center operating costs, while also helping to reduce their carbon footprint,” Samsung wrote.

While PCIe 5.0 is now inevitable, the next release isn’t far behind either. The PCI Special Interest Group has already revealed the PCI Express 6.0 specification that can reach 256 Gbps over 16 lanes – twice as fast as PCIe 5.0 and four times faster than the 4.0 specification. However, this format will need to use a new trick called Pulse Amplitude Modulation that can carry twice as much data as existing methods without having to use ridiculously high frequencies.

Samsung is now sampling the PM1743 PCIe 5.0 SSD for select customers and has plans to mass-produce it in the first quarter of 2022, with capacities ranging from 1.92 Terabytes (TB) to 15.36 Terabytes. It’s also expected to be the first PCIe 5.0 SSD with dual-port support, ensuring that the server runs when a connection to a single port fails. The first customers will probably be the data centers, but this technology usually hits consumers after a year or so – so plan accordingly if you have any 16K video editing projects or anything coming.

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