• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.

Tomshardware - Xbox Series X SSDs Will be Powered by Phison Controller, Report Claims

SenjutsuSage

Member
Jan 23, 2010
9,456
372
815

According to a report from DigiTimes, Phison has "reportedly broken into the supply chain of Microsoft's Xbox," seemingly confirming industry speculation that the Taiwanese SSD controller vendor had secured a contract to provide components for the highly-anticipated Xbox Series X.

What does that mean for gamers? The possibility of PCIe 4.0 SSDs that could hit 7 GB/s of throughput
and up to 8TB of capacity, though the latter isn't likely because it would be shocking overkill for a console and add quite a bit to the price tag.


Phison has a big advantage in terms of raw speed. The company produces E16 SSD controllers that third-party SSD vendors use to build the only SSDs on the market that support the PCIe 4.0 interface, giving them access to potentially twice the sequential throughput of any other model currently on the market. The E16's strength in sequential work is important: The faster interface pumps high-quality textures into the processor nearly twice as fast as PCIe 3.0 SSDs (up to 5GB/s), thus enabling richer scenes and smoother gameplay. Phison already has its next-gen E18 SSD controller in the works, too, that will push the bar up to 7GB/s.

We recently visited Phison at CES, and the company also had new PCIe 4.0 SSD prototypes that cram an astounding 8TB onto a single M.2 SSD with the E12S controller, so the company is working to make both faster and more capacious SSDs that could all land in the same time frame as Microsoft's Xbox Series X.

It's hard to tell which of Phison's controllers Microsoft will select, but given its statements around performance, it will almost certainly be a PCIe 4.0 variant. Phison was the first to support the interface, which does give it an advantage of having field-tested SSD controllers available for Microsoft. Other SSD/controller vendors do have competing PCIe 4.0 SSDs on the way to market, like Innogrit and Samsung, but those will be relative newcomers while Phison's controllers have been in the market for quite some time.
 

onehitflunder

Member
Dec 10, 2018
296
281
260
NVME have uber sequential reads/writes ... but are barely quicker than normal SATA3 SSDs where it really matters (fast access time, random access time, QD1T1) .. they are all about 50 to 70MB/s (no matter the interface).

Also Micron and Samsung have better controllers already, especially Samsung with their PRO Series close to Intels´s Optane.


I´m shocked how bad the current SSDs really are, in comparison with an 8 YEAR old SSD with 128Gb. Mine´s barely slower (where it matters) than the new Samsung. Of course both having more capacity and being newer are much faster at copying big files, but not so much with tiny ones+random access.


 
Last edited:

Shin

Member
Feb 4, 2013
4,591
2,362
760
Interesting that Tom's Hardware running with it, I know Digitimes is often right but was skeptical due to how new that controller is.
 

Lady Bernkastel

Formerly 'Scathach Eilean'
Mar 8, 2018
1,058
1,388
570
I remember when everyone thought PS5 SSD was special and better than anything on the market while Xbox SSD will just be a generic SSD you can find anywhere, and all those threads about how SSD performance will drive next-gen sales.
 

jshackles

Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the capability to make the world's first enhanced store. Steam will be that store. Better than it was before.
Jul 2, 2013
14,313
6,914
1,145
Oregon
Sounds pretty dope, I'm glad to hear they're not just going with the "off the shelf" option.

I'm still patiently waiting to see what, if any, options are available for upgrading the storage capacity on these new systems though.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Godzilla Emu

SleepDoctor

Member
Nov 11, 2019
560
781
455
I remember when everyone thought PS5 SSD was special and better than anything on the market while Xbox SSD will just be a generic SSD you can find anywhere, and all those threads about how SSD performance will drive next-gen sales.

Dont derail the thread. Every thread doesn't need to be xbox vs ps.

OT: i don't understand a damn thing here on this. Won't give any rumor much thought though. It could all be way off.
 

Lady Bernkastel

Formerly 'Scathach Eilean'
Mar 8, 2018
1,058
1,388
570
Dont derail the thread. Every thread doesn't need to be xbox vs ps.

OT: i don't understand a damn thing here on this. Won't give any rumor much thought though. It could all be way off.
Oh come on, you guys had so much fun speculating about PS5's superior backwards compatibility and SSD and talking about it in every thread(and even spamming on all Xbox threads). Now you want everything to be brushed aside.
 
Last edited:

Lady Bernkastel

Formerly 'Scathach Eilean'
Mar 8, 2018
1,058
1,388
570
Sounds pretty dope, I'm glad to hear they're not just going with the "off the shelf" option.

I'm still patiently waiting to see what, if any, options are available for upgrading the storage capacity on these new systems though.
Surface Laptop 3 and Surface Pro X have a m.2. nvme SSD slot. Maybe they will include it here too, XSX has a much bigger form factor.
 
Last edited:

jshackles

Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the capability to make the world's first enhanced store. Steam will be that store. Better than it was before.
Jul 2, 2013
14,313
6,914
1,145
Oregon
Surface Laptop 3 and Surface Pro X have a m.2. nvme SSD slot. Maybe they will include it here too, XSX has a much bigger form factor.
The PCIe 4.0 (Generation 4) NVMe drives are crazy expensive right now though, and I believe the capacity currently tops out at 2TB (which is approx $500 USD). Most likely they won't let you "downgrade" to a slower, cheaper drive.

If games now are 100+ GB in size, next gen games could be at least that big or bigger. Even having a $500, 2TB drive is only going to let you store a couple dozen games at a time. Seems like a bit of a step backwards considering I can plug a $120, 8TB external USB hard drive into my Xbox One X and have it work perfectly.
 

Hawking Radiation

Formerly '$MILE¥'
Dec 29, 2018
362
660
425
Oh come on, you guys had so much fun speculating about PS5's superior backwards compatibility and SSD and talking about it in every thread(and even spamming on all Xbox threads). Now you want everything to be brushed aside.
This tit for tat nonsense really is childish. How old are you, really?
Can the topic not just be about the Xbox Series X SSD? It's not an unreasonable request from the other member to quit the PS vs Xbox talk because all it does is serve to derail the discussion.

OT: That kind of speed should bode well for games. Honest to god i'm tired of pop up in games. I do wonder if they'll be able to use these insanely fast speeds to load more or higher quality assets into game worlds?
Could this be possible? Anyone with info?
 

SleepDoctor

Member
Nov 11, 2019
560
781
455
Oh come on, you guys had so much fun speculating about PS5's superior backwards compatibility and SSD and talking about it in every thread(and even spamming on all Xbox threads). Now you want everything to be brushed aside.

"You guys"??? Lol you got the wrong one. But regardless, doesn't mean you should go derail another thread.
 

Gashtronomy

Member
Apr 19, 2019
3,595
4,809
410
This tit for tat nonsense really is childish. How old are you, really?
Can the topic not just be about the Xbox Series X SSD? It's not an unreasonable request from the other member to quit the PS vs Xbox talk because all it does is serve to derail the discussion.

OT: That kind of speed should bode well for games. Honest to god i'm tired of pop up in games. I do wonder if they'll be able to use these insanely fast speeds to load more or higher quality assets into game worlds?
Could this be possible? Anyone with info?
It's not just pop-up. I'm playing Pillars of Eternity on an X and it's a 20 second load time between transitions. It makes visiting town almost unbearable.

Bonus : I forgot Tyler had a portrait in the game.
 
Jan 29, 2019
1,676
1,131
355
fast af storage. faster than anything that is currently available
Potentially, as fast as we can get on the Ryzen x570 chipset.

Impressive... It really depends what they pair it with, and which physon product they get.

I'd be surprised if they got something below pcie 4.0


Oh come on, you guys had so much fun speculating about PS5's superior backwards compatibility and SSD and talking about it in every thread(and even spamming on all Xbox threads). Now you want everything to be brushed aside.
Well, we have nothing precise to compare it with.
 

Clear

Member
Feb 2, 2009
9,578
3,062
980
Phison supply controllers to a huge number of SSD vendors, that there is SSDs in both next-gen devices guarantees that there has to be a controller too!

Also note: Big clue in the quoted text in the OP. If this was just news why would it be bigging up the "highly anticipated Xbox series X".
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: PharaoTutAnchAmun

Hawking Radiation

Formerly '$MILE¥'
Dec 29, 2018
362
660
425
It's not just pop-up. I'm playing Pillars of Eternity on an X and it's a 20 second load time between transitions. It makes visiting town almost unbearable.

Bonus : I forgot Tyler had a portrait in the game.
Yeah i think fast travelling between locations should be virtually eliminated. Since putting a bog standard SSD in my PS4 Pro, I am able to fast travel to different parts of The Division 2 map in around 7-8 seconds whereas i used to have to wait almost a minute.
However my initial question with these SSD's (besides them hugely helping in fast travelling) is are they able to drastically improve quality of assets and being streamed into the game world? Not just assets but the amount as well. Like will a developer be able to flood a city or town with a ton of random objects to really make the place look and feel alive.
 
  • Thoughtful
Reactions: Gashtronomy

Gashtronomy

Member
Apr 19, 2019
3,595
4,809
410
Yeah i think fast travelling between locations should be virtually eliminated. Since putting a bog standard SSD in my PS4 Pro, I am able to fast travel to different parts of The Division 2 map in around 7-8 seconds whereas i used to have to wait almost a minute.
However my initial question with these SSD's (besides them hugely helping in fast travelling) is are they able to drastically improve quality of assets and being streamed into the game world? Not just assets but the amount as well. Like will a developer be able to flood a city or town with a ton of random objects to really make the place look and feel alive.
Call me crazy, but I believe we have seen a stop-gap generation. Microsofts lack of games haven't come from any place other than their ideas not living up to their reality. Microsoft thrive on online, hugely-social, digitally downloaded and always connected worlds. While we have seen some examples of these in Apex, Fortnite etc, they haven't helped Microsoft because they couldn't gain timed/full exclusivity on these games.

Looking at Sony, we see a lot of stories told in third person, over the should views. Yes, TLoU and Uncharted were on PS3 and had the same format, but for the rest of the games? They (GoW) have had to adapt to these standards. It's why, IMO, we haven't seen much advancement, in real terms, above and beyond Bloodborne, action wise, The Order, graphics wise and Infamous, sandbox wise

Fallout 4 fit in at the start of the generation, built upon the last Fallout games but wasn't, IMO, what i would class as next generation. Take Fallout 76 for example; a stop-gap using the Apex/Fortnite formula to hide the fact that these consoles, simply cannot deliver the next step in the iterations of series. BC has had to step up to the plate to cover some gaps, likewise with indies, FtP etc.

No new Elder scrolls, no new GTA, no Bully, no Prototype. Even the games that did release; Division 2 and RDR for example, had their load times hidden in long travel times and other clever effects.

I think the SSD, at this point, is not a fancy gimmick, but an absolute necessity, moving forward.

TL;DR The industry needs this new tech and needs it now.
 

longdi

Member
Jun 7, 2004
5,139
434
1,625
I remember when everyone thought PS5 SSD was special and better than anything on the market while Xbox SSD will just be a generic SSD you can find anywhere, and all those threads about how SSD performance will drive next-gen sales.
But this news is about using a generic drive/controller?

Or at least there are only so many ssd controllers you can use from unless you design one yourself..hmm
 
  • Like
Reactions: megreotsugua

Lady Bernkastel

Formerly 'Scathach Eilean'
Mar 8, 2018
1,058
1,388
570
But this news is about using a generic drive/controller?

Or at least there are only so many ssd controllers you can use from unless you design one yourself..hmm
Since when did NVMe drives(the best ones out there) become generic ? If Cerny designed something better than that himself, the PS5 would be used to launch ballistic missiles by the JDSF.
 

Trimesh

Member
Jun 8, 2019
238
270
290
Faster drive speeds make the visuals “richer?”

I’m not sure I follow.

Is PCIe 3.0 truly not “fast enough” for ultra high resolution textures?
I think it's just marketing speak - on a practical level, PCIe 4.0 is exactly like PCIe 3.0 except it's twice as fast. Possibly there are edge cases where that makes a lot of difference, but in most situations I can't see it enabling you to do anything you otherwise couldn't.
 
Aug 28, 2019
855
900
305
Call me crazy, but I believe we have seen a stop-gap generation. Microsofts lack of games haven't come from any place other than their ideas not living up to their reality. Microsoft thrive on online, hugely-social, digitally downloaded and always connected worlds. While we have seen some examples of these in Apex, Fortnite etc, they haven't helped Microsoft because they couldn't gain timed/full exclusivity on these games.

Looking at Sony, we see a lot of stories told in third person, over the should views. Yes, TLoU and Uncharted were on PS3 and had the same format, but for the rest of the games? They (GoW) have had to adapt to these standards. It's why, IMO, we haven't seen much advancement, in real terms, above and beyond Bloodborne, action wise, The Order, graphics wise and Infamous, sandbox wise

Fallout 4 fit in at the start of the generation, built upon the last Fallout games but wasn't, IMO, what i would class as next generation. Take Fallout 76 for example; a stop-gap using the Apex/Fortnite formula to hide the fact that these consoles, simply cannot deliver the next step in the iterations of series. BC has had to step up to the plate to cover some gaps, likewise with indies, FtP etc.

No new Elder scrolls, no new GTA, no Bully, no Prototype. Even the games that did release; Division 2 and RDR for example, had their load times hidden in long travel times and other clever effects.

I think the SSD, at this point, is not a fancy gimmick, but an absolute necessity, moving forward.

TL;DR The industry needs this new tech and needs it now.
Couldn't of said it better. Now me, I would still prefer 3D-Xpoint/ReRAM because they have DRAM bit/byte alterabilty benefits too (NAND does not), but in terms of read and write speeds I did some research and the Optane drives actually are closer to what these 7/8 GB/s SSD drives powering the next-gen systems will be.

So I was probably overshooting with those DDR4-like speeds for 3D Xpoint/ReRAM tbh :p
 
  • Praise the Sun
Reactions: Gashtronomy

iHaunter

Member
Sep 6, 2015
853
110
350
Interesting. Phision is PCIe 4.0. Curious if their GPU will be PCIe 4.0 as well? Technically you can't really buy that right now.