Intel is prototyping PCIe 4.0 SSDs, but needs AMD CPUs to test them

mongeese

TS Maniac
Staff member

Oh, the irony.

AMD became the first to support PCIe 4.0 with third-generation Ryzen. While at launch the upgrade over Intel’s PCIe 3.0 was mostly academic, a slew of PCIe 4.0 SSDs have since been released with speeds almost twice as fast as previous generations. Intel’s CPU department might not have seen that as a big deal but apparently, their storage division does.

Intel’s technical marketing performance engineer Frank Ober tweeted that Intel is willing to send out PCIe 4.0 SSDs to developers. But the developers will need PCIe 4.0 CPUs to take full advantage of them.

In September, Intel confirmed the development of Alder Stream SSDs, an update to their Optane drives that will use second generation 3D XPoint technology. 3D XPoint is often marketed as a middle ground for RAM and solid storage. It’s much cheaper per gigabyte than system memory with similar latency, but its SSD-like speeds mean it can’t really replace RAM.

The next generation of XPoint focuses on enhancing speeds, according to Intel. But if they want to double speeds, or, like Micron, triple them then they’ll need either twice as many PCIe lanes (which no one would want) or to upgrade to PCIe 4.0, which has twice PCIe 3.0’s bandwidth.

Intel wanted to build PCIe 4.0 support into a new architecture based on 10nm, but they’ve been forced to delay that for years. It’s now scheduled to enter production in late 2020, so if we cross our fingers and pray, we might just see PCIe 4.0-supporting CPUs from Intel in early 2021. Meanwhile, they’ll be buying from AMD.

Permalink to story.

 

yeeeeman

TS Maniac
This kind of news shows just how stupid press is these days. The title says one thing (which needs to be something shocking) whereas reading through the article I see the interpretation is out of context and plain stupid. Intel probably has PCIe 4.0 devices for a few years now, but in their labs. They can't just send an unreleased product to the developers to test an SSD. Damn...
 

quadibloc

TS Addict
I'm just surprised that, if Intel understands PCIe 4.0 well enough to design SSDs that use it, and to design 10nm chips that they have been unable to fabricate that use it, they couldn't slap that feature on a 14nm chip while they're waiting, so as not to get stuck in an ironic situation like this.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Charles Olson

DennyCrane

TS Rookie
Intel's Ice Lake Server chips have pcie4, and were booting linux in 2018.

https://www.servethehome.com/first-pictures-of-intel-ice-lake-xeon-server-chips/
Why would you link to such an old article that only talks about Ice Lake (the first Intel to include gen4 pcie) only to be released in 2020?

You should know, that since Intel kept dropping the ball, that has since been pushed back to Q3 2020. So no, pcie4 from Intel is not in tester's hands.

It sounds like you didn't read or didn't grok the article you linked to.
 

Irata

TS Maniac
Give me a break. AMD has been using Intel CPU's to test their GPU's, and NVIDIA GPU's to test their CPU's for YEARS on the same generation of PCIe.

Where are AMD's PCIe 4.0 storage drives? Hmm?
True, as any good company should. Difference is they could have only tested on / with their own products had they wanted to (and lacked business smarts).
 

neeyik

TS Evangelist
Staff member
If you're referring to the previously linked article about Ice Lake, then that's not quite the same as what Squid Surprise was suggesting. Given that Intel are a key member of the PCI Express Group, of course they're going to have products that support it; however, I'm not aware of any Intel products available now that do (naturally, happy to be shown otherwise).

The news article is about the fact that Intel is offering PCIe 4.0 Optane to developers for testing. Well unless they're also going to offer not-yet-launched hardware along with the Optane, said developers are going to need an AMD platform to test it on.

In other words, there's an apparent mild irony in the fact that Intel's Optane sector is seemingly more on the ball than their CPU department.
 

Lionvibez

TS Evangelist
Give me a break. AMD has been using Intel CPU's to test their GPU's, and NVIDIA GPU's to test their CPU's for YEARS on the same generation of PCIe.

Where are AMD's PCIe 4.0 storage drives? Hmm?
Right here.

Corsair MP600 1TB on my current build.



There nothing wrong with this article at all.

Anything positive for AMD just brings out the fans boys in droves.
 
Last edited:

Jack324

TS Rookie
This kind of news shows just how stupid press is these days. The title says one thing (which needs to be something shocking) whereas reading through the article I see the interpretation is out of context and plain stupid. Intel probably has PCIe 4.0 devices for a few years now, but in their labs. They can't just send an unreleased product to the developers to test an SSD. Damn...
You don't test one part for validation on another part that's still being tested. You use tried and true production run parts for validation. The parts in their labs are not the finished consumable part, and thus wouldn't make sense to test other parts against.
 

Jack324

TS Rookie
So many people claiming Intel has PCIe4 capable CPUs to test 4.0 drives on are forgetting that those CPUs are lab and engineering samples that themselves are undergoing tests. You don't test an unfinished part on another unfinished part for validation. You have to test unfinished parts against finished unchanging parts or else the test is invalid.
 

Vigilance

TS Rookie
Here is a thing. Intel for few month probably have working CPUs with PCI-E 4.0 that are in validation tests, but even without them you know there are boards with FPGAs that are made specifically to test new standards like new interconnects. that how PCI-E 4.0 devices are being tested without having specific capable CPUs for them.