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SSDs with U.2 interface

U.2, formerly known as SFF-8639, is a computer interface standard for connecting SSDs to a computer. It covers the physical connector, electrical characteristics, and communication protocols. It uses up to four PCI Express lanes and two SATA lanes.

It was developed for the enterprise market and designed to be used with new PCI Express drives along with SAS and SATA drives.

Contents

HistoryEdit

The Enterprise SSD form factor was developed by the SSD Form Factor Working Group (SFFWG). The specification was released on December 20, 2011, as a mechanism for providing PCI Express connections to SSDs for the enterprise market. Goals included being usable in existing 2.5" and 3.5" mechanical enclosures, to be hot swappable and to allow legacy SAS and SATA drives to be mixed using the same connector family.[1]

In June 2015 the SFFWG announced that the connector was being renamed to U.2.[2]

ConnectorEdit

The U.2 connector is mechanically identical to the SATA Express device plug, but provides four PCI Express lanes through a different usage of available pins.[3][4]

U.2 devices may be connected to an M.2 port using an adapter.[5]

AvailabilityEdit

In November 2015, Intel introduced their 750 series[clarification needed] which came in both PCI Express and U.2 variants.[6]

U.2 compared with M.2Edit

  • U.2 allows hot-swap[7] and M.2 does not.[8]
  • U.2 can use 3.3V or 12V for power,[7] while M.2 only supports 3.3V

As implementedEdit

While the U.2 standard does not imply a form factor of the device that uses it, in practice U.2 is used only on 2.5" SSDs. 2.5" drives are typically physically larger than M.2 drives and thus typically have larger capacities.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Enterprise SSD Form Factor version 1.0" (PDF). SSD Form Factor Working Group. 20 December 2011.
  2. ^ "SFFWG Renames PCIe SSD SFF-8639 Connector To U.2". Tom's Hardware. 2015-06-05. Retrieved 2017-07-16.
  3. ^ "Figure 37: Pin usage across Existing standards" (PDF).
  4. ^ "U.2 connector pinout". pinoutguide.com.
  5. ^ "Intel bridges the U.2 gap with an M.2 cable for its 750 Series SSD". The Tech Report. Retrieved 2017-07-16.
  6. ^ "Intel SSD 750 review | TrustedReviews". TrustedReviews. Retrieved 2017-07-16.
  7. ^ a b "SSD Form Factor" (PDF).
  8. ^ "M 2 SSD - Frequently Asked Questions | Kingston". Kingston Technology Company. Retrieved 2018-04-17.