The Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO), the industry consortium dedicated to sustaining the quality, integrity and dissemination of Serial ATA (SATA) technology, today announced that SATA Express, a new specification that standardizes PCI Express (PCIe) as an interface for client storage, has started the ratification process. The specification has moved into the member review stage, the final step prior to the specification's release to SATA-IO members. SATA Express will be available to the general public in the next version of the specification, expected to be completed in 2013. SATA Express enables an ecosystem for client storage in which SATA and PCIe solutions can coexist, providing a low-cost solution to fully utilize the performance of next generation solid state drives (SSDs) and hybrid drives. PCIe technology enables interface speeds of up to 1GB/s per lane in the client space, as compared to today's SATA technology at 0.6GB/s. Storage devices not requiring the speed of SATA Express will continue to be served by existing SATA technology. The specification will define new SATA Express device connectors and motherboard connectors that will support both new PCIe drives and existing SATA devices. See this page for more details. "SATA-IO members have worked together to create the SATA Express specification to bring the scalability of PCIe to client storage," said Mladen Luksic, SATA-IO president. "This industry-wide effort has made a new level of performance available to client applications and enables connectivity to SATA Express enterprise hosts via the SFF-8639 multifunction connector." The Complete SATA Ecosystem SATA Express is one of several specifications from SATA-IO designed to offer low-cost, high performance storage solutions optimized for specific device segments. Since its introduction in 2001, SATA technology has penetrated 99% of the PC market and evolved to provide options for a number of applications beyond traditional hard disk storage. SATA is now implemented in a variety of applications including solid state and optical drives, embedded mobile devices, consumer electronics products and enterprise storage. Key specifications for implementing SATA technology beyond the HDD device segment include: mSATA: A low-profile solution for mobile computing devices and other small form factor applications. SATA Universal Storage Module (USM): An integrated SATA interface for providing portable, volume storage I/O to consumer electronics devices, as well as PC applications. SATA microSSD: An embedded, single-chip solution that connects directly to the motherboard to enable ultra-thin form factor devices.