galapogos

SATA roadmap for laptop drives

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Hi,

I'm trying to get a sense of the current and future landscape for laptop SATA drives. AFAIK, currently the standard is 2.5" SATA, along with mSATA and sometimes M.2 drives. It also used to be 1.8" microSATA, but that standard has largely died out.

Does anyone have any figures on the different percentages of these standards among various PC laptops (excluding Macs)? Will M.2 drives replace mSATA in the near future like mSATA replaced microSATA?

Thanks!

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mSATA has largely lost it's relevance. 2.5" SATA will remain the status quo for some time, but clearly for performance machines, the M.2 SSD is where all efforts are being made.

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Thanks. In terms of availability, how long do you think mSATA has before it reaches EOL status?

Also, it seems that M.2 is currently quite fragmented in terms of the the various types available. I see differing physical sizes, and different protocol standards (SATA/AHCI vs NVMe). Is NVMe even compatible with SATA controllers? Will M.2 continue supporting both SATA and NVMe or will it move towards NVMe in the future?

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Well mSATA is pretty much EOL as is and has been for a while.

M.2 should be seen as more of a connector and less of the "footprint" that mSATA offered. m.2 as you have seen is offered in multiple sizes, interface styles, etc. m.2 should be offering SATA for a while longer, but as more controllers support NVMe native... holding onto a legacy standard isn't worth it.

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Hmm, I still see mSATA in many SSD manufacturer's product card. For example, Samsung 840/850 series still have mSATA versions. I still see mSATA in some companies roadmaps all the way up to 2017. Hence, I'm curious as to when availability of mSATA products will be close to nil, much like the case for the 1.8" microSATA form factor now. I have an application that uses SSD, and I have a choice right now to support a tried and tested mSATA, or an untested and fragmented M.2, so I'm weighing the pros and cons.

Edited by galapogos

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Roadmaps include things like industrial applications where mSATA still has a strong foothold...doesn't mean it will be viable in the PC market as long however.

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Good point. I'm however more concerned with the availability of mSATA drives, rather than whether they'll be widely used in the PC/laptop market. I'm developing a system that will ultimately make use of a small form factor SATA device, and I'm trying to figure out whether to use mSATA or M.2, hence I wish to know if mSATA drives will still be available in the next 5-10 years. Performance isn't a big issue here, mSATA SSDs are fast enough.

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5-10 years is a very, very long time. I would definitely be aiming at m.2 that long down the road....

If it was just a 5-year window you could probably speculate that some business/industrial market for mSATA drives will still be available (albeit possibly-- no, likely-- at premium pricing), but 10 years is a damned long time.

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M.2 all the way. Sure mSATA SSDs will still be available in 10 years, just as IDE drives are still available now... but at very limited sizes and a hefty price premium.

M.2 does everything mSATA (and mPCIe) does and more, so it's going to be an all-out replacement.

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Thanks. Given that M.2 does both SATA and PCIe busses, I'm also concerned that it will gradually gravitate towards the faster PCIe bus. My application is SATA only, so I'm also trying to avoid running into a situation where there are no M.2 devices that speak SATA anymore in 5-10 years. What are the chances of this?

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Again in an industrial/enteprise market there's always going to be some.

10 years is a long time. I'd say you're still much better off with M.2 using AHCI as opposed to gambling with mSATA, which is already half dead. :)

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