Samsung begins mass production of first PCI-Express SSD for ultra-slim laptops

Samsung has begun mass production of a PCI-Express (PCIe) solid-state drive (SSD) for ultra-slim laptops, which it claims is an industry first.

The new XP941 range of SSDs will be available in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB capacities, with a PCIe 2.0 interface, which allows for sequential read speeds of 1,400MB/s, substantially higher than the top speeds of a SATA 6Gb/s device.

To put this into perspective, 500GB of data, such as 100 high-definition movies, will transfer in just six minutes, while 10 5GB high-definition movies will transfer in 36 seconds. This works out at roughly seven times the speed of a standard HDD and 2.5 times faster than the top SATA SSDs.

“With the Samsung XP941, we have become the first to provide the highest performance PCIe SSD to global PC makers so that they can launch leading-edge ultra-slim notebook PCs this year,” said Young-Hyun Jun, executive vice president of memory sales and marketing at Samsung Electronics.

“Samsung plans to continue timely delivery of the most advanced PCIe SSD solutions with higher density and performance, and support global IT companies providing an extremely robust computing environment to consumers.”

The XP941 also comes in a smaller form factor, measuring just 80mm by 22mm, which is a seventh of the space of a 2.5in SATA SSD. This will allow more space in laptops for other parts, such as a bigger battery.

The mass production paves the way for a shift in the SSD market towards the faster PCI-Express interface. Other manufacturers of SSDs will likely follow suit.