Oftentimes, it's easy to just gloss over the nuts and bolts of what makes our technology work. After all, so long as it turns on and functions as advertised, why would the average consumer care? In the cast of SATA specifications, it's particularly true. That said, those who are engrossed with such things may be interested in hearing that the Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO)
has today unveiled Revision 3.2 of its specification. he latest specification includes SATA Express, a new specification that enables the coexistence of SATA and PCIe storage devices, as well as enhancements in power management, new SATA form-factors, and optimizations for solid state hybrid drives (SSHDs).
In other words, this is paving the way for more storage, faster storage, and more compatible storage, with laptops situated in prime position to benefit from it.
“SATA technology continues to evolve to accommodate ever-changing storage industry requirements,” said Mladen Luksic, SATA-IO President. “The updates featured in the revision 3.2 specification, such as SATA Express and enhancements for emerging solid state hybrid drives, are driven by current market trends. These new features demonstrate SATA-IO’s ongoing commitment to providing low-cost, high-performance storage solutions.”
Initially introduced in January 2013, the SATA Express specification enables a client storage ecosystem that allows SATA and PCIe solutions to coexist. A host implemented to this specification will connect to and function with either a SATA or PCIe storage device. PCIe technology enables increased interface speeds of up to 2GB/s (2 lanes of PCIe 3.0), compared with today’s SATA technology at 0.6GB/s (6Gb/s). The increased speed of PCIe provides a cost-effective solution for optimizing performance of Solid State Drives (SSDs) and emerging SSHDs. Storage devices not requiring the increased speed of PCIe, such as traditional hard disk drives (HDDs) and optical drives, will continue to be supported by SATA. SATA revision 3.2 also incorporates the M.2 form factor, enabling small form-factor M.2 SATA SSDs suitable for thin devices such as tablets and notebooks.
Additional key features and enhancements of revision 3.2 include:
microSSD – standard for embedded solid state drives
(SSDs) that enables developers to produce single-chip SATA
implementations for embedded storage applications.
Universal Storage Module (USM) – enables removable and
expandable storage for consumer electronic devices. SATA revision 3.2
introduces USM Slim, which reduces module thickness, allowing smaller
removable storage solutions.
DevSleep – the lowest yet level of power management where the
drive is almost completely shut down, to meet the requirements of new
always on, always connected mobile devices such as Ultrabooks™.
Transitional Energy Reporting – provides the host with detailed
information about the SATA storage device, facilitating better power
Hybrid Information – provides a mechanism in which the
host can communicate data caching information to the drive, improving
solid state hybrid drive (SSHD) performance.
Rebuild Assist – speeds the data reconstruction process in RAID