As yet another example of how new, fast interfaces are changing the way SSDs fit into the enterprise storage arena, here’s a new video showing Gary Gentry, General Manager of Micron’s Enterprise SSD Division, explaining how and why Micron has integrated PCIe into its 2.5-inch, enterprise class P320h SSD.
PCIe and the coming NVMe specification are two examples of fast interfaces that are taking SSD performance to even higher levels by removing the interface bottleneck between the SSD and host systems. In Gentry’s words, this “turbocharges” the connection to the SSD.
The approach used by Micron in the P320h places the PCIe interface in the gap between the two connectors of the existing SAS/SATA port using some extra pins. To develop this drive, Micron developed its own NAND Flash controller and disk interface SoC. The company originally designed this controller SoC into a PCIe board that plugs into a server or PC PCIe slot. By adding a PCIe interface to the existing SAS/SATA port on the SSD, Micron’s P320h preserve’s the drive’s hot-swap and mechanical characteristics—so that it fits in with other enterprise-class HDDs from a mechanical perspective—while boosting I/O speed through the added PCIe port.