We can't call it a comeback because the Phison PS5012-E12 hasn't hit the market as a retail product yet, but the new firmware certainly gets us excited about when will come in the near future.
Phison's partners spent most of 2018 promoting the E8. It was long enough to forget what the market looks like with a premium drives from these companies. For the last few years, we can divide the market into three camps, Phison, Silicon Motion, and Samsung. When one isn't pushing the boundaries of price and performance in one of the tiers, shoppers miss opportunities for lower prices and aggressive performance via firmware or a faster refresh to the next generation.
The performance we saw today in our testing proves the E12 will be a force to reckon with when the partners bring them to market. It's a good time for Phison's partners to attack the premium market. We haven't heard any rumors coming out of Samsung, nor any new OEM drives that precede retail products. The 970 Series wasn't as dominant as previous 9-Series products. The E12 we tested today proved it runs with the Silicon Motion, Inc. SM2262 drives in many tests.
The best part of this is what happens when the companies bring retail drives to market. We often see performance increases as the companies put their own spin on firmware, overprovisioning difference, and the value-add accessories. Each new model tends to leapfrog the one before it, as companies try to give their customers more to be the next great SSD. That's what Phison hopes it has with the PS5012-E12, the next great SSDs. We should start to see how it plays out in the next month or two.
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