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October 29, 2010

New working group formed to advance PCIe-based SSD storage offering

Push the storage IO envelope, promote interoperability, scalability & choice

By CBR Staff Writer

Dell, EMC, Fujitsu, IBM and Intel have formed the Solid State Drive (SSD) Form Factor Working Group to advance the benefits of Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) storage drives through standardisation and promote greater storage efficiencies in the data centre.

The new SSD working group aims to focus on driving specifications of PCIe SSD interfaces by building industry momentum around key customer benefits including performance, features, form factor, availability and serviceability.

The working group will also focus on enterprise customers who are pushing the storage IO envelope and require high performance, easy to use, cost effective, storage solutions to optimise CPU performance.

The new group will advance technology in areas, which include a connector specification to promote interoperability of several storage protocols, supporting SAS/SATA 3.0 as well as PCIe 3; a form factor to enable enclosure flexibility; and the support for hot plug capability to create high-availability and serviceability benefits.

In addition to promoter members Dell, EMC, Fujitsu, IBM and Intel, the new working group includes as well as contributor members Amphenol, Emulex, Fusion-io, IDT, Marvel Semiconductor, Micron Technology, Molex, PLX, STEC, SandForce and Smart Modular Technology.

Dell Server Platforms vice president and general manager Forrest Norrod said the company is pleased to be part of this working group because it supports a broader industry effort to reduce complexity and integration issues around PCIe storage drives.

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EMC vice president of hardware engineering Bill DePatie said in addition to other high speed protocols, PCIe will be a key interconnect for SSD technology moving forward.

Fujitsu Technology Solutions senior vice president Datacenter Systems Product Division Jens -Peter Seick said the company believes that the PCIe Standard Form Factor specification will accelerate the market adoption of PCIe SSDs, offering an electromechanical solution with disk-like handling and true hot-plug capability.

Intel Architecture Group VP and general manager of Platform Components Group Tom Macdonald said Intel is looking forward to working with SSD Form Factor Working Group to collectively define the essential building blocks for future generations of non-volatile memory storage solutions.

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