I/O Board

  2016/9/10 下午 05:25:59        Administrator        General   0 Comments
The miniaturization of computers, particularly laptops, calls for a reduction in size for its parts and components, such as storage drives. The introduction of solid state drives (SSDs) has undoubtedly made a stride in making storage devices more conducive to compact designs like Ultrabooks, but the problems associating with the SATA interface, which is the industry standard and still widely used by SSDs, is becoming apparent as SSD technology advances. Though the thinner and smaller mSATA interface is later created, its inception still does not prevent the fact that the SATA 3.0 standard is bottlenecking the performance of SSDs. As a remedy to this situation, a new form of compact card interface, originally named the Next Generation Form Factor (NGFF), is developed and standardized into the new M.2 interface under the SATA version 3.2 specifications.

Image 1. Comparison between M.2 (NGFF) with other storage devices

Image 1 shows a side-by-side comparison between M.2 (NGFF) with other storage devices. We can see that in addition to SATA (Serial ATA), the pins for M.2 also incorporate PCI Express (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express) functionality, and the Key IDs for the corresponding pins of this new function are defined. In addition, image 2, which shows the difference between M.2 (NGFF) B Key and M Key, shows that B Key-M Key integrated modules are likewise supported.
With the all the functionalities supported by the module, please refer to the section below to get a quick understanding on its specification. 

Image 2.M.2(NGFF) B Key vs. M Key different

Image 3. Specification of M.2 module TYPE 2242-D2-B-M

Image 3 shows that in addition to dimensions, the height for components at the top and under side is clearly defined, subsequently affecting the height of the corresponding interface. The last two alphabets define the capability of the device. For example, by looking at the last two alphabets of Sample TYPE 2242-D2-“B”-“M”, we know that the device supports PCIe*4/SAT and PCIe*2/SATA/USB/PCM.

In a case study, the design team at AAEON’s Embedded Computing Division makes the M.2 design (SSD DC S3500 Series) practical and manages to install the SSD (Solid State Drive) to the underside of the solution, successfully integrating the M.2 design to the board for storage purposes and reducing the amount of room needed.

Image 4. M.2 module

Through this ODM case study, AAEON managed to fulfill the customer’s requirements by successfully completing the eye diagram and specifications tests and applying the M.2 interface, proving once again the ability of AAEON’s development team and stability of AAEON products.
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