Industry collaboration on PCI Express attached SSDs

By Jim Pappas

The SSD Form Factor Working Group has announced its Enterprise SSD Form Factor 1.0 specification defining a new standard connector which for the first time includes PCI Express as a interface to attach 2.5"/3.5” SSDs to computer systems.  Intel was one of five promoter companies, along with more than 50 contributor companies, to define the technology, and write this specification. What really differentiates this announcement from most other standardization efforts is the amount of cooperation across a large number of standards organizations.


In addition to supporting PCI Express, this new specification also supports existing interfaces already widely used in the industry. Representatives from the SATA-IO International Organization, SCSI Trade Association, ANSI T10, PCI SIG and SFF organizations all worked cooperatively to define this specification. Rarely does the industry see such widespread cooperation amongst such organizations. The benefit to end users is the enablement of a single storage interface, which accepts SSD drives with almost any interface, giving users greater choice when configuring their computer environments. It is expected that this work will become the base for the emerging SFF-8639 specification.

Jim Pappas is a Director of Technology Initiatives at Intel.