At FMS 2023, we saw the new Memblaze PCIe Gen5 NVMe SSDs. These new NVMe SSDs are for the next generation of fast storage and are available in a number of form factors and capacities, including one that we were not expecting. We also saw a PCIe Gen4 NVMe SSD at the show.
Memblaze PBlaze7 7940 PCIe Gen5 NVMe SSD at FMS 2023
The first big new NVMe SSD we saw was the Memblaze PBlaze7 7940. This is a PCIe Gen5 NVMe SSD in a unique form factor: a half-height half-length add-in card. The AIC form factor has fallen out of favor since most servers no longer have x4 slots and it is more efficient to use other form factors. Still, we saw this surprise at the show.
Here is the air inlet side of the SSD:
Capacities range from 3.2TB to only 15.36TB which feels low for an AIC form factor where there is usually more PCB space. Still, the SSD can do 2.8M random 4K read IOPS and 700K on the write side. Sequential speeds are up to 14GB/s read and 10GB/s write.
The PBlaze7 7940 also comes in the E3.S form factor. We are starting to see more E3.S servers in production so this segment is certainly growing faster than the AIC form factor segment.
We get the same performance figures as the AIC, just in a denser form factor, which is why E3.S is becoming more popular.
Here is another angle we had of the drive.
Another form factor we saw was the E1.S form factor.
There was also a U.2 2.5″ form factor as well.
The U.2 form factor had the same performance figures again.
Delivering the same performance and capacity across these different form factors is also uncommon these days. It is very common to see capacities and maximum performance vary across form factors. That is not the case with the PBlaze7.
These SSDs cover the common PCIe Gen5 form factors, but the company also showed off its Gen4 platform.
Memblaze PBlaze6 6930 PCIe Gen4 NVMe SSD at FMS 2023
The Memblaze PBlaze6 6930 is the company’s PCIe Gen4 SSD line.
Here we can see the U.3 SSD can get sequential speeds of around 7GB/s read/ write but then 1.6M random read IOPS. The write IOPS figure is not listed.
Still, this offers larger capacities at 6.4TB to 30.72TB, or about double what the PCIe Gen5 platform offers.
Something else that was interesting is that this was a U.3 platform while the PBlaze7 is a U.2 platform.
Overall, it was great to see another PCIe Gen5 NVMe SSD family at FMS2023. We expect a lot more on the PCIe Gen5 side in 2024 as more Gen5 servers are deployed as the crossover from Gen4 to Gen5 being the majority of new server deployments is happening this quarter. As that server platform transition happens, we will see the Gen5 transition happen on the PCIe Gen5 NVMe SSD side as well.