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Standardization underway for Mini PCIe SSDs

Jun 23, 2009 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Samsung says it is sampling a netbook SSD (solid state drive) that offers a standardized, 3.0Gb/sec. SATA interface. Using a Mini PCI Express form factor, the drive comes in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB capacities, and is almost eighty percent smaller than 2.5-inch disks, the company says.

Mini PCI Express-sized SSDs for netbooks are not a new development: They've been employed in devices such as the Asus EeePC and Dell Mini 9, for example, and third-party versions from companies such as RunCore have allowed owners to upgrade their devices' standard storage capacities. However, the majority of SSDs using this form factor use PATA (parallel ATA) interfaces, and they have also varied in size slightly according to what memory chips were used to manufacture them.

Samsung Mini PCIe SSD

Samsung says, firstly, that its new Mini PCIe SSDs include SATA (serial ATA) interfaces that run at up to 3.0Gb/sec., and secondly, that it is working to get their form factor and pinouts better standardized. As a result of the latter, purchasers will ultimately be able to use the SSDs in many different devices, including netbooks that include both SDD and hard disk drive (HDD) storage, printers, and handheld devices, the company claims.

Samsung said it is working to standardize mechanical and pin layout specifications with JEDEC (Joint Electron Device Engineering Council). Pending possible revisions by OEM manufacturers, standardization could be expected as early as the third quarter of this year, the company adds.

According to Samsung, the Mini PCIe SSDs it is sampling now are 80 percent smaller than 2.5-inch drives, measuring just 2.01 x 1.8 x 0.15 inches, and use just 0.3 Watts of power. Available in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB sizes, the devices are said to have read rates of 200MB/sec. and write speeds of 100MB/sec. Produced via a 40nm process, the drives presumably use MLC (multi-level cell) flash, like most other low-cost SSDs.


As noted above, Samsung's new 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB SSDs are sampling now, though pricing was not released. Samsung said the devices are available with or without integral "full disk encryption" capabilities.

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