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.