With the official launch of Samsung 980procie4.0 SSD, pcie4.0 technology and products have become the most popular topic in the storage industry.

So what does pcie4.0 stand for? From pcie3.0 to pcie4.0, what technology and experience innovation and iteration has Samsung made in the product side?

In order to answer the above questions, we need to go back to the source, briefly review the history and change of pcie4.0, and understand the significance and value of the times brought by pcie4.0.

About the evolution of PCIe bus

PCI Express is the so-called PCI Express.

It is essentially a high-speed serial computer extended bus standard. Similar bus standards, such as early MCA and PCI, belong to this kind of protocol.

However, with the development of technology and the change of demand, with the outstanding characteristics of high-speed serial, point-to-point dual channel, high bandwidth transmission and other outstanding characteristics, finally stood out and became the most mainstream computer bus standard.

As for the interface form, there are two main types of PCIe, one is the smaller m.2 interface, the other is the standard PCIe slot, both of which are integrated on the motherboard.

According to the different bandwidth capacity, the iteration of technology and the application level, there are branches and evolution of the PCI bus.

Let’s start with bandwidth. Based on the capacity of the series connected computers, there are performance differences between the same level of PCIe slots.

Taking the mainstream pcie3.0 as an example, it can be simply divided into different bandwidth such as pciex1 / pciex2 / pciex4 / pciex8 / pciex16. Behind these “X1 / x2” and other numbers, there are corresponding interface performance differences.

Taking pcie3.0x1 and pcle3.0x16 as examples, the standard performance of pcie3.0x1 is about 1GB / s, while the standard performance of x16 is as high as 16GB / s under the same pcie3.0 protocol.

As a bus protocol and standard, PCIe has experienced many years of development and reform. From the beginning of pcie1.0, it has gradually made great strides in performance until the birth of today’s pcie4.0.

According to the official data, the bandwidth of the latest pcie4.0 (taking X1 as an example) reaches 2GB / s, which is nearly 8 times higher than that of the original pcie1.0 bandwidth (x1 is 250MB / s).

Finally, at the application level, due to the high-speed series computer provided by PCIe, many hardware products can, and even more want to use the way of the PCIe bus to carry out series connection, so as to give full play to the highest performance of the hardware. Among them, graphics card and solid state disk are the representative products.

The inevitability of pcie4.0 SSD

Just now, the connection between SSD and PCIe is due to the huge performance advantage of serial computers connected with the PCIe bus.

In fact, in the early stage of SSD development, the SATA interface was the mainstream of the industry. On the one hand, it was due to the process technology, and there was no way to develop master control and granular products with perfect performance and power consumption;

On the other hand, the absolute performance of the SATA interface can meet people’s daily storage needs.

With the change of storage requirements and the breakthrough of process technology, the performance of solid-state disk (SSD) has been leaping and developing rapidly. The disadvantages of traditional SATA interface in protocol are gradually revealed. The maximum theoretical performance of 600MB / s has been unable to adapt to the ever-increasing demand for storage and technology evolution.

As a result, the storage industry represented by Samsung brand storage began to introduce pcie3.0 interface, and introduced a new nvme transmission protocol, which broke the shackles of interface protocol, and made the performance of SSD products reach the standard of 3.5gb/s.

However, with the development of technology and the explosion of storage demand, the absolute performance of 3.5gb/s under pcie3.0 protocol is gradually declining. The industry is looking forward to the arrival of the PCI protocol with larger bandwidth and stronger performance.

Therefore, under the dual threat of demand and technology, pcie4.0 and the high-performance pcie4.0 SSD began to emerge.

Samsung brand storage innovation in pcie4.0 Era

As a leading storage manufacturer in the industry, Samsung brand storage is also actively participating in and embracing the pcie4.0 era, and has carried out multi-dimensional innovation in products and experience, among which the representative product is Samsung 980procie4.0 SSD released recently.

This is the first high-performance solid-state disk (SSD) launched by Samsung brand storage, which fully supports the pcie4.0 protocol. All friends who are familiar with Samsung’s storage products know that Samsung’s storage products can be roughly divided into three sequences: Pro / Evo / qvo, which will decrease in turn according to positioning and price differences;

In other words, the products that can be labeled with Pro sequence can be said to be the flagship of Samsung brand storage flagship, which also reflects the importance of Samsung brand storage for pcie4.0 technology.

In addition to the high standard and high specification of product positioning, Samsung has also made many technological innovations and breakthroughs for its 980pro product. The author simply divides it into three dimensions of innovation, namely, master control innovation, flash memory innovation and performance innovation.

Master control innovation

The advent of pcie4.0 protocol is an unprecedented challenge for solid-state disk products, especially for the master chip in charge of internal data processing, compilation and operation.

With the huge improvement of protocol bandwidth, the hard disk master controller should be able to parallel and process more data instructions at the same time, so as to meet the high throughput and achieve efficient data transmission.

In order to cope with the huge performance improvement of pcie4.0, Samsung brand storage is equipped with a new generation of main control chip elpis based on ARM architecture, which is redesigned and compiled for the first time on Samsung 980pro. Elpis comes from Greek, and its Chinese pronunciation is “elpis”, and its literal translation is “goddess of hope”.

Compared with the pcie3.0 era, the 32 queues supported by Samsung mainstream Phoenix master control increased by nearly 400%;

A group of more intuitive numbers are used to verify the strength of Samsung’s new master. According to the design process, under a single queue, it can process more than 64000 command sets, which means that 128 queues within Samsung elpis master can simultaneously process more than 8 million commands.

This kind of performance multiplication can meet the strict requirements for the master control performance under the pcie4.0 protocol, and thus ensure the performance of Samsung 980pro.

At the same time, elpis master chip can also be perfectly compatible with pcie3.0, and has excellent performance in performance, even surpassing 970evoplus and 970pro, which dominate the pcie3.0 generation.

According to the official data, under the pcie3.0 bandwidth, the maximum continuous read performance of Samsung 980pro reaches 3500mb / s, which is basically the same as 970evoplus;

In terms of maximum continuous write performance, it has reached 3450mb / s, even surpassing the official test level of Samsung 970evoplus.

Flash innovation

High band broadband to high performance, at the same time, there is also a higher demand for the granular body of data storage. The large-scale and high-speed read-write means that the flash memory particles used to store data need to have reliable and stable performance in terms of constitution and performance.

In order to further release the full performance of pcie4.0 SSD, Samsung brand storage also applied the sixth generation Samsung v-nand flash memory particles on Samsung 980pro for the first time.

The outstanding feature of this generation of flash memory particles lies in making full use of Samsung’s original “channel hole etching” technology.

By building a conductive chip stack composed of more than 100 layers, and then punching vertically from top to bottom, a uniform three-dimensional charge well flash memory (CTF) cell is formed. Thus, about 40% memory cells are added to the 9x layer single stack structure.

At the same time, in terms of performance, Samsung optimized the internal structure of the circuit to further improve the speed performance of flash memory particles.

According to official data, compared with the fifth generation v-nand technology, the write operation time is less than 450 microseconds (μ s), and the read operation time is less than 45 μ s.

Performance innovation

With the application of new master control and new particles, Samsung 980pro can make full use of the huge performance advantages brought by pcie4.0 protocol.

According to the author’s actual test, the maximum sequential read speed of Samsung 980propie4.0 SSD exceeds the amazing 7000mb / s, and the maximum sequential write speed also exceeds the amazing 5000MB / s.

We should know that the theoretical performance of pcie4.0x4 is 8GB / s, while the Samsung 980pro is more than 7000mb / s, which is almost close to the maximum theoretical performance.

Briefly review the history and change of pcie4.0, and understand the significance and value of pcie4.0

Of course, in addition to the absolute performance, Samsung 980pro also expands the intelligent cache, so that ordinary users can experience the ultimate performance of Samsung 980pro in daily use.

The so-called intelligent caching technology is named intelligent turbowrite technology by Samsung. This technology can automatically identify the user’s workload and specify the appropriate SLC buffer;

That is to say, with the support of this technology, the Samsung 980pro internally generates a dynamic buffer composed of a fixed default space and an intelligent area.

According to the capacity and model, the size of dynamic cache also varies. For the 1TB 980propie4.0 SSD, Samsung is equipped with 6GB default cache and 108gb dynamic intelligent cache.

In other words, users can experience the absolute performance of Samsung 980pro perfectly within the write range of 0-114gb;

In fact, for most ordinary users, the single write volume is far less than 100GB, so this technology is very meaningful for users.

Write it at the end

The attitude of the industry leader often dominates and determines the development trend of the industry. As the pioneer of the storage industry, the entry of Samsung 980procie4.0 SSD can be said to be a sign.

It means the rise and rebirth of pcie4.0 era. As for the follow-up development, all storage manufacturers need to form a joint force to promote.


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