updated 05:01 pm EDT, Fri August 9, 2013
New standard codifies PCIe, SATA express, other technologies
The industry consortium dedicated to sustaining the quality, integrity and dissemination of Serial ATA (SATA) technology, the Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO) today announced the ratification of its revision 3.2 specification. The latest specification includes SATA Express, a new specification that enables the coexistence of SATA and PCIe storage devices, as well as enhancements in power management, new SATA form-factors, and optimizations for solid state hybrid drives.
Initially introduced in January 2013, the SATA Express specification enables a client storage ecosystem that allows SATA and PCIe solutions to coexist. A host implemented to this specification will connect to and function with either a SATA or PCIe storage device. PCIe technology enables increased interface speeds of up to 2GB per second using two lanes of PCIe 3.0, compared with today's SATA technology at six gigabits (750MB) per second. The increased speed of PCIe provides a cost-effective solution for optimizing performance of Solid State Drives (SSDs) and emerging SSHDs. Storage devices not requiring the increased speed of PCIe, such as traditional hard disk drives and optical drives, will continue to be supported by SATA.
SATA revision 3.2 also incorporates the M.2 form factor, enabling small form-factor M.2 SATA SSDs suitable for thin devices such as tablets and notebooks. M.2 is a small form factor card that supports a variety of applications including WiFi, WWAN, USB, PCIe and SATA.
Other features integrated into the new 3.2 specification include microSSD, universal storage module definition, improved power management, transitional energy reporting, better communication of drive state with SSHDs, and RAID rebuild assistance for users.