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Phison E12 NVMe PCIe Gen3 x4 Controller Preview (Page 1)

Phison E12 NVMe PCIe Gen3 x4 Controller Preview

TweakTown is first to test Phison's next-gen E12 NVMe Controller.

Jon Coulter | Jun 4, 2018 at 11:10 am CDT - 3 mins, 41 secs reading time for this page


We got our first look at working Phison E12 powered SSDs back in January at CES. We saw both M.2 and U.2 versions with both Micron and Toshiba flash posting some serious numbers. Since then, we have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of Phison's next-gen E12 controller.

Phison E12 NVMe PCIe Gen3 x4 Controller Preview 010 |

We expect to see E12 powered SSDs hitting the consumer market very soon under the usual brand names like MyDigitalDiscount, Corsair, Patriot, Kingston and many others. Phison will also be tapping the Datacenter market with E12 powered enterprise variants.

Just a couple of days ago, Phison sent out a press announcement that reads as follows:

Phison Begins Customer Sampling of Next Generation Flagship SSD Controller PS5012-E12.

Phison Electronics (8299.TW), an industry leader in flash controller and NAND solutions, announces the availability of the PS5012-E12 PCIe Gen3x4 NVMe SSD controller for customer sampling. The ultra-high performance SSD controller delivers best in class speeds over 3400 MB/s sequential read and over 3000 MB/s sequential write, with random 4K up to 600,000 IOPS read and 600,000 IOPS write performance. The controller supports up to 8TB and is available in the M.2, U.2, and AIC form factors.

With the E12 reaching close to the theoretical bandwidth of 4GB/s for PCIe Gen 3x4, it is the perfect solution for the gaming and high-end PC market. The innovative CoXprocessor 2.0 allows the E12 to gain an impressive advantage in sequential write performance that cannot be matched. It also allows for an unprecedented 600,000 IOPs random 4K read / write performance for a client SSD.

"The PS5012-E12 is our 2nd Generation PCIe Gen3x4 NVMe flagship controller." said KS Pua, Chairman and CEO of Phison. "We incorporated our latest and greatest engineering technologies, from the CoXprocessor 2.0, LDPC 3.0, and our DSP (Digital Signal Processor) 2.0. It will enable our partners to provide the most suitable PCIe SSD to the gamers and PC enthusiast who seek for the highest performing systems. This is without a doubt, Phison's best SSD controller to date."

The controller utilizes an advanced 28nm process technology. Equipped with an ultra-compact and low-power LDPC 3.0 ECC engine designed for the latest 3D TLC and upcoming QLC flash memory. The controller can support up to 8 channel and 32 chip enables (CE).

PS5012-E12DC, the enterprise optimized solution of PS5012, is tuned for maximize endurance, low latency, and sustained performance consistency, targeting the enterprise data center and cloud environments. This enterprise controller is set for customer sampling in early Q3, 2018.

Phison will be showcasing the E12 Client SSD as well as its latest flash controller technologies to close partners at Computex Taipei June 5-9, 2018.

We were able to get our hands-on a 960GB M.2 Phison E12 engineering sample with a Toshiba BiCS 3 flash array for this preview. Phison E12 powered SSDs will be competing for market share with the likes of Samsung's 970 EVO, SanDisk's Extreme Pro, Western Digital's Black, ADATA's SX8200 and Plextor's M9Pe Series. This is some stiff competition to be sure, now let's see how Phison's latest and greatest compares.

Because this is a performance preview of the E12 in non-retail form, we are not going to run our complete benchmark suite. We are leaving out our long tests including steady-state Vantage, PCMark 8 Extended and Sledgehammer. These tests take a very long time to run and are less relevant to the average user than the synthetic and moderate workload tests that we are presenting in this preview.

Phison E12 NVMe SSD Controller Features & Specs

Phison sells its SSD controllers as part of a turnkey solution to be branded and sold by vendors. This has made Phison a favorite among third-party SSD retailers. Phison's PS5012-E12 controller supports the full gambit of current and forth coming flash technologies as follows:

Phison E12 NVMe PCIe Gen3 x4 Controller Preview 02 |

Drive Details

Phison E12 960GB M.2 NVMe SSD

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This side of the PCB houses Phison's PS5012-E12 NVMe controller, a SK hynix DRAM package and two 256GB Toshiba BiCS 3 64-layer TLC flash packages.

Phison E12 NVMe PCIe Gen3 x4 Controller Preview 04 |

This side of the PCB houses another SK hynix DRAM package and two more 256GB Toshiba BiCS 3 64-layer TLC flash packages.

Last updated: Sep 25, 2019 at 12:25 am CDT

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Jon Coulter


Jon became a computer enthusiast when Windows XP launched. He was into water cooling and benching ATI video cards with modded drivers. Jon has been building computers for others for more than 10 years. Jon became a storage enthusiast the day he first booted an Intel X25-M G1 80GB SSD. Look for Jon to bring consumer SSD reviews into the spotlight.

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