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Faster SSDs are coming

While I've been moving my clients to SSDs for four years now, what's next? Where will the next big speed benefit come?

Oddly, from SSD drives once again. Currently we put these super fast drives on a connector interface designed for spinning drives. The interface is fast, but serial, as the read head would read one bit at a time and send it rapidly down the pipeline. This made sense when the information came from a read head that read serially.

But with Solid State Drives it's a whole new ballgame. Information could be sent through multiple channels for much faster possible speeds. Our computers normally come with such mult-channel connectors available. They are normally used for video cards.

Solid State Drives on PCI-e cards

So, some manufacturers are beginning to stick their solid state drives on connectors to plug into PCI-e slots and use multiple channels simultaneously.

The Problem

The problem is that this bus was never meant for storage devices, and doesn't have the controls needed and there isn't a good standard. So, this is a little bit on the bleeding edge. This cutting edge tech costs about double what normal SSDs cost.

The Future

I expect the PCI-e standard will be updated to include standards for storage devices and we'll begin seeing drives using 4 channels and then more. This should give us 3-4 times the performance we are getting from current solid state drives.

Further Reading

Date: July 2015

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