CES 2018 | ADATA preps support for the upcoming M.3 SSD form-factor standard
The M.3 form-factor for PCIe SSDs will offer a wider surface (30.5 mm vs the 22 mm from M.2) on which manufacturers can integrate additional NAND memory packages, more failure capacitors or even larger controllers. At CES this year, the only storage OEMs that presented M.3 solutions were ADATA and Samsung. ADATA presented the IM3P33E1 SSD as one of its most advanced models yet, integrating a fast PCIe 3.0 X4 connector that supports hot plugging and an NVMe 1.3 controller that allows for 3200 MB/s sequential reads and 1800 MB/s sequential writes. Capacities will range between 240 GB and 1.92 TB.
The M.3 form-factor is more suitable for compact servers, rather than PCs or mobile devices. ADATA had on display a server that supported up to 34 drive sleds on the front of the 1U chassis, fitting more high-speed storage than any existing server with a 1.75-inch height. Because it needs 12v of power instead of 5v, these SSDs cannot be integrated in consumer products.
M.3 is not even the official name of the form-factor at the moment, Samsung calling it Next Gen Small Form Factor (NGSFF). As the technology gets implemented in more products, the M.3 denomination should be recognized as the official one.