SATA-IO to Develop Specification for Mini Interface Connector
Serial ATA International Organization (SATAIO), the consortium dedicated to sustaining the quality, integrity and dissemination of serial ATA (SATA) technology, announced it is developing a specification for a miniSATA (mSATA) interface connector. This new lowprofile connector will enable more effective SATA integration in small form factor applications.
mSATA leverages the speed and reliability of the popular SATA interface to provide a highperformance, costeffective storage solution for smaller devices like notebooks and netbooks. The specification maps SATA signals onto an existing small form factor connector, enabling more compact integration in a wide variety of applications for both hard disk (HDD) and solid state drives (SSDs). The mSATA connector allows companies to increase the storage offerings of their products without compromising valuable space.
mSATA is particularly beneficial for manufacturers planning to incorporate small form factor SSDs (approximately the size of a business card) in portable PC devices, where space utilization and cost minimization are key concerns.
"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, SATAIO president and Intel fellow and director of storage architecture. "Solidstate 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 smallform factor SSDs."
mSATA will support 1.5 Gb/s and 3.0 Gb/s transfer rates.
"SATA is already the predominant storage interface used in the hard disk drive (HDD) market," said Jeff Janukowicz, research manager for Solid State Drives at IDC. "The mSATA specification extends the lowcost, highspeed benefits to the rapidly growing SSD market, increasing the options for manufacturers to develop small form factor solutions."
Development of the mSATA specification is being driven by members of the SATAIO Cable and Connector Working Group, including Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, SanDisk, STEC and Toshiba. SATAIO has also collaborated with the Joint Electronic Devices Engineering Council (JEDEC) to develop this specification.
Industry Support for mSATA
"SSD technology can work inside of virtually any form factor, so the new SATA specification should go a long way in encouraging extremely compact SSD storage designs," said Jim Elliott, vice president, memory marketing, Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. "Highly compact Samsung SSDs are perfectly suited as a costefficient storage medium for the growing slim notebook marketplace, particularly netbooks."
"One of the key values SSDs enable is smaller form factors that allow both notebook and netbook computers to be lighter, thinner and more stylish," said Don Barnetson, Sr. Director of Marketing for SanDisk. "SanDisk is pleased to support the mSATA form factor as part of our leading pSSD product line which will be on display at the SATAIO booth at the upcoming IDF."
"Initial adoption of most SATA solid state drives has followed the HDD form factor. Using new mSATA modules enable a smaller, internal module connected to the system board for notebooks, mobile and other embedded storage applications to enable designers greater design flexibility," said Scott Nelson, VP Memory, Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc.
"Toshiba is introducing mSATA modules using 32nm NAND in 30 and 62GB densities with read speeds of 180MB/s and write speeds of 50MB/s."