SATA Express systems will arrive this year

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The ratification process for SATA Express has started, according to the Serial ATA International Organization, or SATA-IO, this week. Expected to be available for review by the public later this year, SATA Express defines new device and motherboard connectors for the new standard, which will also support current SATA devices.

The standard essentially operates with the PCIe protocol, though the SATA Express host controller will also support SATA devices. This offers backward compatibility to standard SATA storage drives, while the presence of PCIe allows SATA Express to be used with higher-speed devices. The specification is expected to open the door for faster solid-state drives that are already starting to push up against the limitations of SATA.

At the moment, the fastest external, peripheral interconnect technology available today is the Intel-developed Thunderbolt interface. Also based on PCIe, Thunderbolt offers 10Gbps in each direction, with two distinct channels per port. The high cost of Thunderbolt controllers though has meant that devices with Thunderbolt support have been released slowly.

As reported by Computerworld, PCIe will allow interface speeds of up to 1GB/sec per client lane, which compares favorably to the 0.6GB/sec offered by SATA technology today. SATA-IO claims that SATA Express will open the door to cost-effective device interface speeds from 8Gbps to 16Gbps.

For more:
- check out this article at Computerworld

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