Today Marvell is announcing the first NVMe SSD controllers to support PCIe 5.0, and a new branding strategy for Marvell's storage controllers. The new SSD controllers are the first under the umbrella of Marvell's Bravera brand, which will also encompass HDD controllers and other storage accelerator products. The Bravera SC5 family of PCIe 5.0 SSD controllers will consist of two controller models: the 8-channel MV-SS1331 and the 16-channel MV-SS1333.

Marvell Bravera SC5 SSD Controllers
  MV-SS1331 MV-SS1333
Host Interface PCIe 5.0 x4 (dual-port x2+x2 capable)
NAND Interface 8ch, 1600 MT/s 16ch, 1600 MT/s
DRAM DDR4-3200, LPDDR4x-4266 with ECC
Sequential Read 14 GB/s
Sequential Write 9 GB/s
Random Read 2 M IOPS
Random Write 1 M IOPS
Max Controller Power 8.7 W 9.8 W
Virtualization 16 Physical Functions, 32 Virtual Functions

These new SSD controllers roughly double the performance available from PCIe 4.0 SSDs, meaning sequential read throughput hits 14 GB/s and random read performance of around 2M IOPS. To reach this level of performance while staying within the power and thermal limits of common enterprise SSD form factors, Marvell has had to improve power efficiency by 40% over their previous generation SSD controllers. That goes beyond the improvement that can be gained simply from smaller fab process nodes, so Marvell has had to significantly alter the architecture of their controllers. The Bravera SC5 controllers still include a mix of Arm cores (Cortex-R8, Cortex-M7 and a Cortex-M3), but now includes much more fixed-function hardware to handle the basic tasks of the controller with high throughput and consistently low latency.

Such an architectural shift often means sacrificing flexibility, but Marvell doesn't expect that to be a problem thanks in large part to the Open Compute Project's Cloud SSD specifications. Those standards go beyond the NVMe spec and define which optional features should be implemented, plus target performance and power levels for different form factors. The Cloud SSD specs were initially a collaboration between Microsoft and Facebook but have caught on in the broader market and even have the support of traditional enterprise server vendors like Dell and HP. This allows controller vendors like Marvell and SSD manufacturers to more narrowly focus their product development efforts, and to target a wider range of customers with a single hardware and firmware platform. In spite of the shift toward more fixed hardware functionality, the Bravera SC5 controllers still support a wide range of features including NVMe Zoned Namespaces (ZNS), Open Channel SSDs and Kioxia's Software-Enabled Flash model.

In addition to being the first available PCIe 5.0 SSD controllers, the Bravera SC5 family includes the first 16-channel controller designed to fit on the EDSFF E1.S form factor, using a controller package size of 20x20 mm with peak controller power of 9.8 W. The new controllers are currently sampling to select customers, with the option of using Marvell's firmware or developing custom firmware.

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  • Catalina588 - Thursday, May 27, 2021 - link

    You can run a stock exchange on a million IOPS. Amazing progression of technology.
  • mode_13h - Saturday, May 29, 2021 - link

    According to what source, and from when?
  • Samus - Sunday, May 30, 2021 - link

    All said, that's 9.8w peak + a few watts for the NAND\RAM, so while more than a HDD, it'll idle at much less than a typical data center drive as the only ones that ever really spin down are for cold storage.

    It might average out, energy usage wise.
  • mode_13h - Sunday, May 30, 2021 - link

    First of all, Billy seems the total number will be more like 25W.

    > It might average out, energy usage wise.

    Than HDDs? No. This is not meant to compete with HDDs. Completely weird comparison, on so many levels.
  • Kurosaki - Thursday, May 27, 2021 - link

    Now, we just wait for memory woth the controller. 14GB/s in QD1..
  • Zingam - Thursday, May 27, 2021 - link

    Now pair these with OCL or even better HCL Flash and we'll have a true winner!
  • Marlin1975 - Thursday, May 27, 2021 - link

    I agree, 9w is a lot for just the controller. Did they say what node these are made on?
  • yeeeeman - Thursday, May 27, 2021 - link

    Seems like alder lake might just be feasible for those people that want the latest and greatest specs. We already have DDR5 chips, we know have pcie ssd controller.
  • mode_13h - Thursday, May 27, 2021 - link

    > alder lake might just be feasible for those people that want the latest and greatest specs.

    Huh? This is not for consumer SSDs. And the only way it could be used in one is on a PCIe AIC form factor, definitely not M.2.
  • Spunjji - Friday, May 28, 2021 - link

    It would be an odd consumer who'd buy an Alder Lake CPU, slap a PCIe 5.0 4x SSD into the one PCIe 5.0 slot on their system and in the process sacrifice the ability to use anything but the iGPU 😅

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