SATA-IO unveils two interface standards: SATA Express and SATA µSSD
Ismini Scouras 8/12/2011 10:36 AM EDT
The Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO) made two key announcements this week: it is developing SATA Express, a new specification that combines SATA software infrastructure with the PCI Express (PCIe) interface and completed a new standard for embedded solid state drives (SSDs) dubbed SATA µSSD.
SATA Express enables the development of new devices that utilize the PCIe interface and maintain compatibility with existing SATA applications. The technology will provide a cost-effective means to increase device interface speeds to 8Gb/s and 16Gb/s.
Solid state (SSDs) and hybrid drives are already pushing the limits of existing storage interfaces. SATA Express will provide a low-cost solution to fully utilize the performance of these devices. Storage devices not requiring the speed of SATA Express will continue to be served by existing SATA technology. The specification will define new device and motherboard connectors that will support both new SATA Express and current SATA devices.
“The SATA Express specification provides SSD and hybrid drive manufacturers the advantages of performance and scalability enabled by PCIe 3.0 – which is available now – and the ubiquity of SATA” said Mladen Luksic, SATA-IO president, in a statement. “We expect the SATA Express specification to be completed by the end of 2011.”
As for SATA µSSD, the specification eliminates the module connector from the traditional SATA Interface, enabling developers to produce a single-chip SATA implementation for embedded storage applications.
The µSSD standard offers a high-performance, low-cost, embedded storage solution for mobile computing platforms like ultra-thin laptops. The specification defines a new electrical pin-out that allows SATA to be delivered using a single ball grid array (BGA) package. The BGA package sits directly on the motherboard, supporting the SATA interface without a connecting module. By eliminating the connector the µSSD standard enables the physically smallest SATA implementation to date, making it well-suited for embedding storage in small form factor devices.
“As tablets and other small computing devices continue to proliferate in the market, the need for scalable small form factor storage solutions rises exponentially,” said Luksic. “µSSD provides a new way to leverage the speed, reliability, and low power requirements of SATA technology in these types of products to enable powerful new computing platforms.”
To access specifications: Click here.