Samsung mini-PCIe SSD: up to 64GB of super-compact storage

Chris Davies - Jun 23, 2009, 4:15 am CST

Samsung have announced a solid-state drive (SSD) that fits onto a mini-PCIe card, offering up to 64GB capacity in a form-factor nearly 80-percent smaller than a 2.5-inch drive.  The SATA 3.0 Gbps drive is not only intended for compact devices, such as MIDs and netbooks, but as a secondary or complementary drive for regular notebooks.

In that way, users would no longer have to choose between the speed of SSD and the low price of traditional hard-drives, but instead have both.  The mini-PCIe card weighs up to 8.5g and boasts 200MB/s read rates and 100MB/s write rates.

It also supports full-drive encryption and the usual shock-resistance of an SSD.  Samsung are currently sampling the SATA mini-card SSD to its hardware partners, while pushing for standardization on its mechanical form-factor and pin-layout.  That’s expected to be completed by Q3 2009; there’s no word on when we could see the drives reach the market.

Press Release:

Samsung Develops Solid State Drive with SATA Mini-card Design

Seoul (Korea Newswire) June 23, 2009 11:17 AM — Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world leader in advanced semiconductor technology, announced today that it is now sampling a SATA-interface mini-card solid state drive (SSD) with some of its customers, for use in the expanding netbook marketplace. The Samsung SATA mini-card SSD expands the use of SSDs from not only being a primary storage medium, but also as a complementary drive to boost the performance of PCs with dual drive capabilities.

Samsung’s new mini-card form factor, with a highly robust interface, makes an already rugged SSD even less susceptible to damage from jarring, jostling and dropping.

“The market is beginning to embrace a smaller SSD for the nascent netbook sector,” said Jim Elliott, vice president, memory marketing, Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. “The cost-efficiency and reliability of lower-density, highly compact Samsung SSDs are perfectly suited as the storage medium for the rapidly growing netbook marketplace,” he added.

Featuring a mini-PCI Express (PCIe) form factor with a SATA 3.0Gb/s interface, the highly cost-efficient mini-card SSD is nearly 80 percent smaller than the conventional 2.5-inch hard disk drive, making it ideal for the tighter constraints of most netbooks. In addition, it can be used in printers and various handheld terminals including ruggedized mobile devices.

Moreover, the SATA mini-card SSD form factor can be used in a combination comprised of the SSD as main memory and HDD as supporting storage space. This new approach is expected to increase the adoption of SSDs in a broader range of applications.

Samsung is working to standardize the new mechanical form factor and its pin layout specifications at JEDEC (Joint Electron Device Engineering Council). With possible revisions by OEM manufacturers, standardization could be expected as early as the third quarter of this year.

Available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB densities, the new SSD drive will be produced using 40-nanometer-class process technology. The SATA mini-card SSD provides strong performance levels with a sequential read rate of 200MB/s (megabytes per second) and writes data sequentially at 100MB/s.

Samsung’s mini-card SSD is only 30 millimeters (mm) wide and 51mm high. The drive weighs up to 8.5g and measures up to 3.75 millimeters thick. Also offering a high degree of energy efficiency, the new drive consumes 0.3 watts of power.

Samsung’s new netbook-targeted SSD is available with optional full disk encryption to thwart theft or any unwanted access to a netbook or other device.

About Samsung Electronics

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a global leader in semiconductor, telecommunication, digital media and digital convergence technologies with 2008 consolidated sales of US$96 billion. Employing approximately 164,600 people in 179 offices in 61 countries, the company consists of four main business units: Digital Media Business, LCD Business, Semiconductor Business, and Telecommunication Business. Recognized as one of the fastest growing global brands, Samsung Electronics is a leading producer of digital TVs, memory chips, mobile phones and TFT-LCDs. For more information, please visit .

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