PCle SSDs offer higher transmission speeds to SATA SSDs

17th September 2014
Siobhan O'Gorman

In 2014, TrendForce found that the transmission speed of PCIe G2 (PCIe Generation 2.0) surpassed that of SATA III SSD. This has resulted in PCIe SSDs becoming more popular in the PC SSD market. To meet the growing demand for PCIe SSDs, Apacer has released the mPDM+ and M.2 PCIe SSDs.

The mPDM+, which is a mini PCIe SSD, features the same dimensions as mSATA products. Measuring 50.8x29.8mm, the mPDM+ module can be used as a substitute for the mSATA storage device attached to the motherboard. With dimensions of only 22x42mm, the M.2 PCIe SSD is about 40% smaller than the mSATA SSD module. The M.2 SSD module supports both the transmission signals from SATA and PCIe and is available in the standard interface. Both the mPDM+ and the M.2 PCIe SSDs are compatible with AHCI and have up to 128GB capacity.

PCIe achieves higher transmission efficiency than that of SATA 6Gb/s. Due to this, since 2013, the PCIe SSD has become more popular in the PC SSD market. The SSD was utilised by Apple for it's MacBook Air, by Windows for it's Windows 8.1 operating system and by Intel for it's CPU chip. In doing so, these companies have increased the market demand for PCIe SSDs, as several notebooks are expected to replace SATA III SSDs with PCIe SSDs. The price gap between PCIe SSDs and SATA III SSDs is also decreasing. Therefore, it is likely that the PCIe G2 will become the mainstream specification in the PC SSD market in 2015.

Jeff Lin, Embedded Application Business Unit Director of Apacer, indicated that, “Our mPDM+ SSD adopts Mini PCIe module, boasting a read speed of 385MB/s through the transmission of Gen2x1. As its dimension goes in line with that of mSATA products, it is currently a pain-free upgrade solution directly replacing the storage device of the original mSATA SSD on the motherboard.”

“The newly launched M.2, i.e. the NGFF (Next Generation Form Factor), adopts PCIe 2.0 interface which has a broadband speed up to 10Gb/s compared to PCIe 1.0. In addition, the additive transmission efficiency of Gen2x2 enables the sequential read speed up to 780MB/s, far more efficient than the theoretical 600MB/s transmission performance of SATAIII. High-end applications such as network storage or enterprise servers are thus capable of faster transmission.”

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