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mSATA Introduced for Netbook SSDs

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 11 comments

The new mSATA connector will enable credit-card sized SSDs.

Yesterday the Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO) said that it is currently developing a specification for a mini-SATA (mSATA) interface connector, supporting 1.5 Gb/s and 3.0 Gb/s transfer rates. The organization said that the new low-profile connector will enable a more effective SATA integration in small form factor applications. mSATA will also benefit manufacturers incorporating (super) small form factor SSDs into netbooks, notebooks and other portable PC devices.

Along with SATA-IO's announcement, Toshiba revealed that it will integrate the new modules into upcoming SSDs using 32nm NAND flash. The SSDs will also come in two flavors: 30 GB and 62 GB, both with read speeds of 180 MB/s and write speeds of 50 MB/s. Measuring a mere business-card-like 1.18-in. x 0.19-in. x 2-in., the SSDs using the mSATA connector are scheduled to ship in October. The company said that the 62 GB version is one-seventh the volume and one-eighth the weight of the standard SSDs currently used in netbooks.

“As consumers become more reliant on mobile devices, it makes sense to bring the efficiency and speed of SATA technology to this burgeoning highly portable product segment,” said Knut Grimsrud, SATA-IO president and Intel fellow and director of storage architecture. “Solid-state drives provide a rugged, lightweight and lower power storage solution for these devices, and mSATA is one of the few interfaces that can provide a critical compact connection for these small-form factor SSDs."

Other manufacturers currently working on drives based on the mSATA specification include Dell, HP, Samsung, SanDisk and more.

Display 11 Comments.
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  • -4 Hide
    doomtomb , September 22, 2009 10:40 PM
    Awesome but would this work with SATA 6Gbps?
  • -6 Hide
    Shadow703793 , September 22, 2009 10:45 PM
    Isn't this kind of backwards considering that SSDs are reaching the bandwidth limitation of SATA II already?
  • 0 Hide
    abbadon_34 , September 22, 2009 10:58 PM
    I can't wait for pics
  • 3 Hide
    MichaelC4 , September 22, 2009 11:07 PM
    It's not about speed, it's about size.
  • 0 Hide
    wildwell , September 23, 2009 12:45 AM
    Looks like a logical step for notebooks. I know many video and audio professionals who could take advantage of this feature.
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , September 23, 2009 1:23 AM
    Is the flash type a type of SD card -type of flash?
    If so the IOPS will be very low!
  • 3 Hide
    backbydemand , September 23, 2009 8:00 AM
    Kind of makes sense, the only reason SDDs are the size they are is because they need to be the same form factor as existing 2.5" drives. If you take that form factor out of the running and they are the thickness of credit cards then laptop builders can start to scale down thickness of everything else.

    One step closer to the 'PAD' style devices you see on Star Trek.
  • -3 Hide
    alert101 , September 23, 2009 8:11 AM
    "...that it is currently developing a specification for a mini-SATA (mSATA) interface connector, supporting 1.5 Gb/s and 3.0 Gb/s transfer rates."

    Can someone explain to me why 6.0Gb/s is not included? As the article title says "mSATA Introduced for Netbook SSDs". Sure, the drives featuring the new connection will be physically smaller, but as SSD technology advances the transfer rates for the drives will increase past SATA2 rates. Well some current SSDs pretty much saturate SATA2 (3Gbps) already, I can just imagine the speed of future SSDs when this mSATA is finalized. 6-12 months?

    Conclusion: We will have super-fast SSDs but the connection will be a bottleneck. How about that?
  • 0 Hide
    ceteras , September 23, 2009 8:32 AM
    ProDigit80Is the flash type a type of SD card -type of flash?If so the IOPS will be very low!


    No way!
    Electrically it will still be a SATAinterface, it's just a different format.
    See here
  • 0 Hide
    agentjon , September 23, 2009 1:24 PM
    backbydemandKind of makes sense, the only reason SDDs are the size they are is because they need to be the same form factor as existing 2.5" drives. If you take that form factor out of the running and they are the thickness of credit cards then laptop builders can start to scale down thickness of everything else.One step closer to the 'PAD' style devices you see on Star Trek.


    Actually the PADDs were ran with Isolinier chips which were both CPU and memory. Add a terequad of memory get a terahert of processing power from teh same part
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 23, 2009 6:28 PM
    ceterasNo way!Electrically it will still be a SATAinterface, it's just a different format.See here

    I was referring to the "credit-card sized SSDs", not the interface...