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What’s mSATA SSD (mSATA solid-state drive)?

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An mSATA SSD is a solid-state drive (SSD) that conforms to the mSATA interface specification developed by the Serial ATA (SATA) Worldwide Group.

An mSATA SSD has a smaller kind issue than a typical SSD and is designed to be used with transportable, power-constrained units reminiscent of laptops, tablets and netbooks. The mSATA SSD has additionally seen use in business merchandise reminiscent of digital indicators, point-of-sale units, retail kiosks and multifunctional printers.

An mSATA SSD is roughly the scale of a enterprise card. Benefits of mSATA SSDs embrace the small kind issue, low energy consumption, shock/vibration resistance and quick boot/shutdown capabilities. The utmost bandwidth of an mSATA SSD is 6 gigabits per second (Gbps).

Specification for mSATA

The mSATA specification describes the way to map SATA alerts onto a Peripheral Element Interconnect Categorical (PCIe) mini-card connector to allow use with a variety of purposes.

Like SATA, mSATA makes use of the Superior Expertise Attachment (ATA) command set to switch information between a number laptop and goal storage gadget. The principle variations between an mSATA SSD and a SATA SSD are bodily dimension and the connector.

The SATA Worldwide Group (SATA-IO) began growth of the mini interface connector in 2009. The mSATA specification emerged in 2011 as a part of SATA revision 3.1. Distributors who contributed to the mSATA specification included Dell, Hewlett-Packard (now often called Hewlett Packard Enterprise), Lenovo, Samsung, SanDisk, sTec (which was acquired by HGST, a Western Digital firm, in 2013) and Toshiba.

Picture of an mSATA SSD.

SATA-IO initially referred to the specification as mini-SATA, however the group later merely referred to as it mSATA.

M.2 SSD vs. mSATA SSD

M.2 SSDs and mSATA SSDs and are each high-performance storage units designed to be used with small units reminiscent of pocket book and pill computer systems. An mSATA SSD makes use of solely the SATA interface, whereas M.2 SSDs help SATA or PCIe.

The M.2 kind issue emerged in 2013, roughly two years after the mSATA specification. The PCI Particular Curiosity Group consortium of expertise distributors outlined the M.2 specification; SATA-IO described the SATA model of M.2 within the 3.2 revision of the SATA specification. M.2 SSDs additionally help SATA Categorical (SATAe), which is outlined within the SATA 3.2 revision and allows SATA or PCIe connectors. The SATAe-based M.2 drive tells the host whether it is PCIe or SATA. Nevertheless, few business merchandise help SATAe.

The newer M.2 kind issue permits for variations in drive dimensions, whereas full-size mSATA SSDs ship in just one dimension. Half-size mSATA SSDs are additionally obtainable.

An M.2 SSD is ready to lengthen the information charge past the 6 Gbps limitation of a SATA SSD or mSATA SSD. A PCIe-based M.2 SSD can help as much as 4 lanes of PCIe at a per-lane charge of as much as 1 gigabyte per second. As well as, a PCIe-based M.2 SSD that helps NVM Categorical can increase efficiency and cut back latency over units that use the ATA or Small Pc System Interface command set. SATAe-based M.2 SSDs can help as much as two lanes of PCIe, however they don’t seem to be in frequent use.

Micron M600 SSD kind elements (left to proper): mSATA SSD, M.2 SSD (22 mm x 60 mm double-sided), M.2 SSD (22 mm x 80 mm single-sided) and a 2.5-inch SATA SSD.

The expertise trade has largely shifted to M.2 SSDs over mSATA SSDs. M.2 SSDs are utilized in shopper units and, to a lesser diploma, in enterprise programs.

Expertise comparability: mSATA vs. mini PCIe

An mSATA SSD is analogous in dimension and look to a mini PCIe card, and each match into the identical mPCIe slot on the motherboard of a space-constrained computing gadget. Nevertheless, an mSATA SSD makes use of the SATA storage bus interface and should have a direct connection to the SATA host controller. An mPCIe card helps PCIe and common serial bus alerts.

PCIe is a point-to-point expertise by which every serial hyperlink has a full duplex pair of differential alerts, often called a lane. PCIe helps as much as 32 lanes, however mPCIe helps just one.

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