In order for the SD 7.0/7.1 (aka SD Express) ecosystem to take off, a number of things are needed, but aside from specification itself, availability of controllers for card readers as well as controllers for cards is crucial. Apparently, Phison had already developed its first controller for SD Express and microSD cards and even showcased prototypes of such cards at Computex.

Phison’s PS5017 controller is compliant with the SD 7.1 specification, so it can be used both for SD Express and microSD Express cards. The chip supports various types of 3D TLC and 3D QLC NAND memory featuring ONFI or Toggle 2.0 interfaces, but total capacity is limited to 512 GB for some reason. Performance wise, the controller promises up to 900 MB/s sequential read speed as well as up to 500 MB/s sequential write speed, which is good enough considering types of memory that it will be used with.

Since the company has not formally announced the PS5017 controller, it is likely that is has not passed all of required compliance tests just yet. Meanwhile, since the company showcases prototypes of cards as well as mentions the chip publicly, it is likely that it is in its final stages of development.

While Phison does not announce any firm ETA dates for its PS5017, it looks like makers of SD Express and microSD Express cards will be able to buy it in the coming quarters.

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  • Valantar - Friday, June 14, 2019 - link

    I wonder if this is the time when we need to start putting heatsinks on our MicroSD cards. 900 MB/s has to produce some heat. Still, this ought to be amazing for SBCs and other I/O intensive SFF use cases.
  • watersb - Friday, June 14, 2019 - link

    Maybe thermals are part of the wear-leveling in the NAND chipsets and the controllers. Probably still testing that.
  • timecop1818 - Friday, June 14, 2019 - link

    chances that your shitty raspberrypi will support this are practically zero.
    and at the cost of SD Express card and controller needed to interface with it in the SoC, might as well just use emmc or ufs.
  • ballsystemlord - Friday, June 14, 2019 - link

    No, no, my RPI *must* support this.... Just teasing.
    More seriously, if we could actually get something well designed out of the SBC world it would support this and more.
  • ZolaIII - Saturday, June 15, 2019 - link

    It requires micro PCI-E for mobile interfacing bus on the second line of pins on the SD card. So with out that it works just like any ordinary SD card using now legacy interface.
  • Xajel - Monday, June 17, 2019 - link

    Duo to cost, RBPi doesn't even have M.2, Sata slots, or even other advanced types of interfaces, hell it's still on USB2. And they just improved the Ethernet performance more than 100Mbps.

    I always wanted RBPi to release a pro version, while there are plenty of other more powerful boards out there, the RBPi software side is more polished.
  • ZolaIII - Saturday, June 15, 2019 - link

    Most quality SD cards possess high thermal & EMF protection as a standard for very long time time now.
  • Chaitanya - Thursday, June 20, 2019 - link

    Also cameras dont have random read/write requests rather its just sequential read/write operation that is performed from host to storage.
  • eastcoast_pete - Saturday, June 15, 2019 - link

    Those really fast SDExpress (micro or regular) cards are of great interest for cameras. Attempting to shoot 4K 10 bit HDR at 60 fps in good quality (RAW or ProRes) easily requires 200 Mbs or twice that. A large capacity uSDExpress card with that or a similar controller would take care of that.
  • ajp_anton - Sunday, June 16, 2019 - link

    200Mb/s is already easily achieved with any microSD card that doesn't suck.

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