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Samsung announces new thin storage device for notebook computers

Samsung has become the first manufacturer in the computer industry to mass-produce a PCI Express (PCIe) SSD for ultra slim notebook computers: the XP941.

Samsung says it began providing the XP941 to major notebook makers earlier this quarter, and that it is available in 512GB, 256GB, and 128GB capacities. The PCIe-based solution obliterates SSDs based on the “old” SATA 6Gb/s interface, and Samsung promises sequential read performance of  up to 1,400 MB per second.

That sort of performance allows 500 GB of data to be read or 100 HD quality movies at 5 GB each in only 6 min. The performance is roughly seven times faster than a traditional hard drive and 2.5 times faster than the fastest SATA SSD.

The SSD uses the new M.2 form-factor measuring 80 mm x 22 mm and weighs 6 g. The small SSD also has about one seventh as much volume as a traditional 2.5-inch SSD, which allows manufacturers to focus more on adding battery capacity and “thinning out” their designs.
Apple introduced PCI-E based SSDs with its latest generation MacBook Airs, which boosted I/O performance significantly compared to the previous SATA-3 models.

Source: Samsung

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By embedded_bill on 6/17/2013 11:33:04 AM , Rating: 2
Nice to see pcie ssd thing starting to gain traction, first with the MBA and now the Samsung announcement. Will this drive into a broader trend? Pcie ssd offerings have been out there for a while, though mostly have sata interfaces on them, they are really priced out of this world.

By retrospooty on 6/17/2013 1:05:19 PM , Rating: 2
Probably since Sata seems to be slow to change/implement. Some of the desktop PCIe drives that have been on the market for years are crazy fast.

By Solandri on 6/17/2013 9:16:59 PM , Rating: 2
The mSATA port on most new laptops/ultrabooks are actually mini-PCIe x1 slots. Their form factor is the same, the only difference is how they're configured electrically. Some are mSATA only (limiting them to 600 MB/s). Others can be configured as PCIe x1, which should theoretically give them up to 2 GB/s.

By GladeCreek on 6/18/2013 5:13:19 AM , Rating: 3
Don't confuse the numbers. SATA 3's 600MBs number is unidirectional, PCIe 3's 2GBs number is bi directional.

Besides to get PCIe 3 speeds you need CPU lanes which you don't get in the ultrabook CPUs. The lanes come off the PCH which are PCIe 2 and limited to 500MBs uni. This is true even in Haswell and in the new MacBook

So the real comparison for the msata connector is 600MBs SATA or 500MBs PCIe

By Moishe on 6/17/2013 3:56:12 PM , Rating: 2
I'd buy one of these in a heartbeat if I could find one that would plug straight into an ATX motherboard PCIE slot.

By Cheesew1z69 on 6/17/2013 4:15:39 PM , Rating: 2
That would be pretty cool, have a custom bracket to mount it. I would too if that was the case.

By retrospooty on 6/17/2013 5:04:50 PM , Rating: 2
These have been out a long time...

PCIe 2.0

Max Sequential Read: Up to 1500 MB/s
Max Sequential Write: Up to 1250 MB/s
4KB Random Write: Up to 230,000 IOPS

By retrospooty on 6/17/2013 5:07:38 PM , Rating: 2
I meant to addd this review... And that the insane spec posted above has been out for 2 years already.

The only thing new here is the mini PCIe for laptops. - Which is sweet too.

By Cheesew1z69 on 6/17/2013 5:08:47 PM , Rating: 2
Damn, that first one is now affordable, used to be 500+. Not bad!

You mean GB?
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/17/2013 7:58:33 AM , Rating: 4
512MB, 256MB, and 128GB capacities.

RE: You mean GB?
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/17/2013 8:33:27 AM , Rating: 3
Some real losers on this site to down rate this....

RE: You mean GB?
By dgingerich on 6/17/13, Rating: -1
RE: You mean GB?
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/17/2013 11:00:14 AM , Rating: 2
Big difference between MB and GB, that isn't being "nit-picky"... sorry but I am going to disagree.

RE: You mean GB?
By retrospooty on 6/17/2013 8:41:03 AM , Rating: 2
LOL... Yes, but the 10 MP3's you put on it will load fast as hell. ;)

RE: You mean GB?
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/17/2013 8:54:18 AM , Rating: 2
Like lightnin! ;)

By eek2121 on 6/17/2013 8:12:38 AM , Rating: 3
No mention of write speeds?

RE: Writes
By Brandon Hill on 6/17/2013 8:23:31 AM , Rating: 2
Not yet. I'm assuming they'll be a little lower, but still blow past anything that is SATA-III based.

RE: Writes
By dgingerich on 6/17/2013 10:54:02 AM , Rating: 2
if any only if they use as many or more channels as SATA SSDs. The interface could be a lot higher, but if the number of channels used is lower then they performance would be lower. I could see cheap manufacturers using two or four flash channels with performance lower than SATA.

Granted, it will, not matter the case, blow USB storage out of the water. :)

RE: Writes
By TakinYourPoints on 6/18/2013 4:23:23 AM , Rating: 2
Some benchmarks from the 2013 MBA using a PCIe SSD:

Gettin All the Love
By Spuke on 6/17/2013 10:04:16 AM , Rating: 2
Are ultrabooks really that popular that they've been getting all this attention? It seems like the price point would keep people away.

RE: Gettin All the Love
By inighthawki on 6/17/2013 11:12:45 AM , Rating: 2
I've had the impression that ultrabooks have gained massive traction. I will be happy the day we never need a mechanical drive in a laptop again. 512gb ssd for me please.

RE: Gettin All the Love
By tng on 6/17/2013 2:04:40 PM , Rating: 2
Almost everybody at our office has converted to them.

Less than half the weight, smaller size, faster and more memory than our old laptops that we have to carry around. Win, win for people who have to replace a older laptop.

RE: Gettin All the Love
By TakinYourPoints on 6/18/2013 4:19:08 AM , Rating: 2
They are both popular and profitable. The Macbook Air is one of the most popular laptops on the market right now. Apple has about a third of laptop sales in the US but over 90% of laptops sold over $1000. Every OEM want a piece of that pie, and customers love the form factor because they are both light and fast enough for most purposes.

They're only getting better; the new MBA had battery life clocked at 13 hours in several reviews now, and going from SATA to PCIe has resulted in this change.


Pretty awesome.

By Shig on 6/17/2013 1:34:59 PM , Rating: 2
The SATA express standard is both too late and not fast enough. SATA will soon be for 3rd tier storage and optical media only, just too slow. Everything on PCI-e lanes please, Haswell-E has 40 lanes!

By Shadowself on 6/17/2013 4:01:25 PM , Rating: 2
SATA 3.2 will have a mode supporting 16 GTps (12.8 Gbps with 8/10 encoding). This will suffice for some time for all but large, fast RAID setups. For individual drives SATA 3.2 will be sufficient for years to come.

Will SATA bite the dust? Obviously, yes -- just like IDE, ATA, SCSI, Firewire and the rest. But I'd be very surprised if variants like the top end SATA 3.2 goes away before several years from now.

What PCIe Version?
By iwod on 6/19/2013 3:36:08 AM , Rating: 2
Why no one questions or ask about the Interface?
This cant be a SATA Express since 1.4GB/s is faster then the spec.
It cant be PCI-e 4x Slot as the card would be too small.
It cant be a PCI-e 3.0 2x slot as as the lane coming off PCH in ultrabook are still PCI-e 2.0

"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer

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