Those hoping Intel’s next generation motherboard platform would arrive with SATA Express support appear set for disappointment. Despite multiple reports earlier this year claiming the technology would ship with Intel 9 Series chipsets, that no longer looks to be the case.
The latest information seen by VR-Zone suggests the storage standard will not be validated on 9 Series chipsets. Their story specifically calls out the high-end Z97 platform although the quote encompasses the entire 9-series family. Over the summer, leaks also suggested SATA Express would be absent from Haswell-E chipsets.
Not familiar with SATA Express? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. It’s part of the Serial ATA 3.2 specification which was ratified this past August. It introduces new connectors that support existing SATA hardware as well as PCIe-based SATA Express devices as The Tech Report points out.
SATA Express provides a choice of AHCI or NVM Express host interfaces in addition to a larger bandwidth pipe. AHCI is used for legacy devices while NVM Express would be utilized for high performance solid state drives of the future.
Without Intel’s support, the rollout of SATA Express devices is sure to be delayed. With any luck, however, maybe some third party peripheral controllers with SATA Express support will spring up and offer an alternative until Intel can get their act together in a future chipset. But considering how long it took the chip maker to implement USB 3.0 support, I’m not holding my breath.