Micron Introduces First 2.5-Inch PCIe Enterprise SSD

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2012-03-06

In its first news since the tragic death of CEO Steve Appleton in a plane crash Feb. 3, Micron Technology on March 6 launched what it called the first 2.5-inch enterprise solid-state drive based on a PCIe interface.

The new, as-yet-unnamed drive combines a high-performance PCIe interface in a hot-swappable 2.5-inch card that gives data center administrators some new high-speed options for storage servers.

Intel introduced PCIe (peripheral component interconnect express) in 2004. It is a computer expansion-card standard based on point-to-point serial links rather than a shared parallel bus architecture, and is designed to replace the older PCI, PCI-X and AGP standards.

PCIe-based flash storage has the ability to bypass traditional storage overhead by reducing latencies, increasing throughput and enabling efficient processing of massive quantities of data.

Because the 2.5-inch form factor allows PCIe SSDs to be integrated into the front end of the server (like traditional data storage drives), users can easily service the drive or scale performance without having to power down the server. This is an important consideration for data center managers, especially those responsible for hundreds or thousands of servers.

Will Be an Option in New Dell Servers

The new SSD has been selected as an optional storage tier in Dell's new PowerEdge 12th-generation servers. These servers use a front-accessible backplane design that can hold 2.5-inch SATA, SAS and PCIe drives, allowing the user a variety of storage choices in a server or rack of servers.

The new device uses Micron's P320h PCIe SSD design and is based on a custom-developed controller. The 2.5-inch PCIe SSD also complements the P320h HHHL card form factor, which provides power for high-performance, high-reliability storage systems required for cloud applications, such as video streaming and virtual networks.

Micron is currently in production with the P320h HHHL card and is sampling the 2.5-inch PCIe for selected customers.  The SSD is expected to go GA by this fall.

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