Since many high-end SSDs these days are bottlenecked by a PCIe 3.0 x4 interface, next-generation drives featuring a PCIe 4.0 x4 connector were among the highlights of this year’s Computex. Being one of Phison’s well-known partners, PNY showcased its upcoming XLR8 CS4040 SSD with a PCIe 4.0 x4 interface at the trade show.

PNY’s high-end XLR8 CS4040 SSD is based on Phison’s turnkey PS5016-E16 platform with 3D TLC NAND and will be available in 500 GB, 1 TB, and 2 TB versions. At present, PNY expects the drive to offer up to 4800 MB/s sequential read speed as well as up to 4000 MB/s sequential write speed in case of 1 TB and 2 TB models as well as up to 2100 MB/s sequential write speed in case of 500 GB SKU.

Based on vague comments by the PNY rep we talked to about availability timeframe of the drive and knowing PNY’s inclination to firmware tweaking, we are not quite sure that the company will be the among the first to launch its PCIe 4.0 x4 SSD when the first PCIe 4.0 platforms hit the market this July. In fact, we would expect the company to take its time and do some tweaking.

At Computex, PNY demonstrated its XLR8 CS4040 SSD with a very simplistic sticker that can barely be an efficient heat spreader. As Phison’s PS5012-E12 and PS5016-E16 controllers have a TDP of up to 8 W, a proper heatsink might be needed to guarantee consistent performance. That said, we can only wonder whether PNY installs a heat spreader on its XLR8 CS4040 SSD to maximize performance under high loads, or goes with a sticker to maintain compatibility with existing and future notebooks.

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  • Skeptical123 - Monday, June 10, 2019 - link

    This will be something to watch. If we saturate the gen 4 bus with new controllers and existing NAND in a ~year this cycle will repeat as you say for PCIe gen 5. If it happens a little slower in the future, if the NAND is not there yet to save cost and maybe power we might see devices at least on the consumer side of things drop to 2 gen 5 PCIe lanes instead of 4. Even if drives are not constricted by NAND there is still a chance consumer drives will go back to 2 lanes since the bandwidth of PCIe gen5 is so great. Also difference to most users between a 2 or 4 lane drive won't be noticeable thus not matter unless it becomes common for the Dells and HPs to use NVMe drives as a ram cache to save on ram costs...
  • Santoval - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - link

    I'd say at least two years. One year seems too short a time to me.
  • DigitalFreak - Monday, June 10, 2019 - link

    I wouldn't touch PNY products with a 10' pole. Every flash memory product I've ever bought from them has died an early death.
  • deil - Monday, June 10, 2019 - link

    Well I have 2x 128GB pendrives and 256 one that helped me to migrate at least few TB already, I think it's over 2 years now, at least for smaller ones.
    maybe something with specific series or something...
  • A5 - Monday, June 10, 2019 - link

    Should be easy to avoid, since this will probably be the same price as all the other Phison E16 clones.
  • halcyon - Monday, June 10, 2019 - link

    Exactly my experience as well.
  • ksec - Monday, June 10, 2019 - link

    They should start their design on PCI-E 5.0 SSD Controller aiming at 10GB+/s.
  • alpha754293 - Monday, June 10, 2019 - link

    I wonder what's the random read/write IOPS are.
  • DigitalFreak - Monday, June 10, 2019 - link

  • qlum - Monday, June 10, 2019 - link

    I see what you did there.

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