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Future of SSD interface – SATA and PCI

Sanjay Sharma 11th, March, 2019
Future of SSD interface – SATA and PCI

SATA and Peripheral Component Interconnect Express are the interfaces that are broadly utilized by SSDs that are accessible today in the market.

Serial ATA (SATA) is the most widespread interface used for connecting SSDs today. This interface has been around for a significant long time now. Big players like #Intel, #Samsung, #Micron have already spent significant amount of time and efforts to develop this technology for SSD’s. A study on Bus transfer protocol technology for SSD after 2015 indicates a sharp rise in technologies related to protocol development. More specifically the NVMe protocol.

Future of SSD interface – SATA and PCI

Speaking at the A3 TechLive conference in London, Eyal Shani – Director #WesternDigital, technical product marketing said that SATA interfaces for SSDS are on their way out and the NVMe SSD interface will take over in 2020.

A graph presented by Eyal Shani shows declining popularity of SATA based SSD’s in data centers.

SATA to NVMe transition

Based on the trends, it seems like NVMe will become a de-facto interface in future majorly due to scalability and lowest latency benefits.

However, the latest filing trend in SATA based SSD domain indicate a sharp increase in patent filings on SATA based SSD.

SATA to NVMe transition

The major contributors to this sharp rise are #Samsung and #Intel who have filed patents related to physical arrangements of SSD’s and power management.

#Toshiba also seems to join the party by continuing their effort to provide efficient data transmission for SATA based SSD’s. It seems like #Toshiba is actively working to improve data transmission technologies with their research and development in connection establishment, read-write operations for SATA based SSD’s.

Captivatingly, in 2016-17 #Alibaba group filed a patent portfolio related to data deduplication technique for SATA based SSD using signature matching technique. However, the possible use of patented technology in #Alibaba’s Data Center is still a question for the outer world.

On the one hand, SATA SSDs have better hardware compatibility. While on the other hand they have worse relative performance. Unlike SATA based SSDs, PCIe can allow more bandwidth through faster signaling and multiple lanes. Due to the direct connection to peripherals, SSDs based on PCIe perform much better than the SATA counterparts that uses cables to connect to the motherboard, which in turn results in high latency.

Well, the recent trend shows growing NVMe market response, however corporates like #samsung #Toshiba and #intel hasn’t left the SATA based SSD domain

We will be discussing the growth trends of NVMe in our next article

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