Industrial Grade mSATA (MO-300) - A Reliable High Speed Embedded Storage Solution

With the advent of embedded applications requiring higher performance storage capabilities, new form factors and interfaces have emerged to meet those needs. A popular SATA interface form factor for Industrial embedded environments is the mSATA.

mSATA (Mini-SATA) is also referred to by its JEDEC specification of MO-300. At 50.8mm x 29.85mm the mSATA delivers a lot of capacity in a small footprint. The standard can support SATA interface performance at 1.5 Gbits/sec, 3.0 Gbits/sec and 6.0 Gbits/sec speeds.

The mSATA electrical specification follows the SATA-IO (Serial ATA International Organization) Group’s specifications laid out in September 2009. In January 2010, JEDEC also published the MO-300 standard which defines the dimensions, layout and connector position of this product as well.

Cactus offers both an Industrial Grade mSATA, based on SLC NAND flash, for the most demanding embedded application environments and a Industrial MLC mSATA, based on MLC NAND, which provides a cost effective solution for less demanding applications.

The mainstream Netbooks and tablets frequently use mSATA as their storage medium. Some notebooks use a smaller capacity mSATA as a cache in front of a hard disk drive to speed up the most often used data. Industrial applications use mSATA to run operating systems and applications as well as store data.

Industrial Grade mSATA

Industrial mSATA are built using SLC (Single Level Cell) NAND. They have >2 Million endurance cycles per logical block which is more than enough for reliably running an operating system and high write cycle applications. Longer life cycles are another plus for these products since SLC NAND components are available for several years without change.

Industrial MLC mSATA

Commercial mSATA are built using the lower cost MLC (Multi Level Cell) NAND components. They generally are reliable when running an operating system at room temperature, but may have issues at extreme high and low temperatures. For high write cycle applications, it is recommended to move to the Industrial Grade products using higher endurance memory.

To Lid or not to Lid

Based on customer demand, Cactus has created a lidded version of the mSATA for more rugged applications. For the lidded version, the physical length and width are identical but there is a metal lid covering the top side of the module.

ATA to 2.5" SATA Adapter for Development

For use of OEMs developing systems which will use our mSATA products, Cactus has an mSATA to 2.5” Adapter. This allows a designer to test the actual mSATA product in his system before the final prototypes are built.

If you would like to discuss the mSATA or any other Cactus product feel free to Contact a Cactus Expert for more information.

Steve Larrivee has over 30 year's experience in the data storage market, including 5 years at Seagate Technology and 10 years at SanDisk. He joined Cactus Technologies Limited as an equity partner and Co-Founded Cactus USA in 2007 with partner Tom Aguillon. Learn more about Steve on LinkedIn.