Intel's 9 Series chipset has native support for SATA Express devices. The new storage interface combines PCI Express and Serial ATA on a single connector, and it's already been deployed on scores of new Z97 motherboards. We haven't seen SATAe ports on any AMD boards, though. None of AMD's current chipsets support the standard, and the same goes for third-party controllers. However, ASMedia appears to be working on SATAe hardware, and this report at DigiTimes suggests the technology could be integrated into next-gen AMD chips.
According to "sources from the upstream supply channel," AMD will collaborate with ASMedia to "integrate transmission interfaces such as SATA Express onto its next-generation platform." AMD will reportedly license intellectual property from ASMedia, but it's unclear whether the relationship will be limited to SATAe. ASMedia also makes 6Gbps SATA and USB 3.0 controllers, though both interfaces are already supported by existing AMD silicon.
We've tested a lot of ASMedia-based SATA and USB implementations, and they've typically been slower than the competing Intel chipsets. I hope there are no performance penalties associated with ASMedia's SATAe tech. AMD chipsets have exhibited slower peripheral performance than competing Intel solutions for quite some time, so I'm not terribly optimistic. Then again, Intel's current SATAe solution is limited to PCIe Gen2 speeds. AMD and ASMedia could offer a faster solution based on Gen3 connectivity.
The DigiTimes article doesn't provide a timeline for when SATAe might be integrated into AMD chips, and we don't have a good read on when the company's next-gen motherboard platform will even arrive. The first SATA Express devices are due out this year, and more are expected in 2015.
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