The Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO), the consortium that develops Serial ATA technologies, on Wednesday announced a new standard for embedded solid state drives (SSDs). The SATA μSSD specification eliminates the module connector from the traditional SATA interface and allows to produce single-chip SSDs compatible with Serial ATA software layer.
The μSSD standard offers a high-performance, low-cost, embedded storage solution for mobile computing platforms like tablets or ultra-thin laptops. The specification defines a new electrical pin-out that allows SATA to be delivered using a single ball grid array (BGA) package. By eliminating the connector the μSSD standard enables the physically smallest SATA implementation to date, making it an ideal solution for embedding storage in small form-factor devices.
“As tablets and other small computing devices continue to proliferate in the market, the need for scalable small form-factor storage solutions rises exponentially. μSSD provides a new way to leverage the speed, reliability, and low power requirements of SATA technology in these types of products to enable powerful new computing platforms," said Mladen Luksic, SATA-IO president.
SATA-IO is also developing interoperability tests for μSSD products that will help ensure devices based on the μSSD standard will be compatible with other μSSD-based products.
Flash industry leaders are supportive of the μSSD initiative. SanDisk currently utilizes the new specification in its iSSD integrated storage device, the world's smallest, fastest 128GB (SATA 6Gb/s) SSD, and other companies are making plans to follow suit.