The Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO), the industry consortium dedicated to sustaining the quality, integrity and dissemination of Serial ATA (SATA) technology, today announced it is developing SATA Express, a new specification that combines SATA software infrastructure with the PCI Express (PCIe) interface. 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. "We expect the SATA Express specification to be completed by the end of 2011."
The Complete SATA Ecosystem
SATA Express is one of several specifications from SATA-IO designed to offer low-cost, high performance storage solutions optimized for specific device segments. Since its introduction in 2001, SATA technology has penetrated 99% of the PC market and evolved to provide options for a number of applications beyond traditional hard disk storage. SATA is now implemented in a variety of applications including solid state and optical drives, embedded mobile devices, consumer electronics products and enterprise storage. Key specifications for implementing SATA technology beyond the HDD device segment include:
• mSATA: A low-profile solution for mobile computing devices and other small form factor applications.
• SATA Universal Storage Module (USM): An integrated SATA interface for providing portable, volume storage I/O to consumer electronics devices, as well as PC applications.
• SATA µSSD: Also announced today, an embedded, single-chip solution that connects directly to the motherboard to enable ultra-thin form factor devices.
More information on these and other SATA specifications is available at SATA-IO.