SSDs in new formats U.2 as new interface
It is practically impossible to imagine today's computers without solid-state disks (SSDs). They are particularly popular for upgrading used notebooks and desktop PCs, but they already come in different sizes and with different connectors. Besides the conventional 2.5-inch SATA SSD, especially the M.2 SSD in the form of a plug-in card has established itself. However, new formats are already in the starting blocks.
U.2 as a new interface
With U.2 the direct successor of the M.2 interface is published. Previously, it was also known as SFF-8639. Unlike its predecessor, the SSD is no longer used directly as a plug-in card, but connected with a cable. In return, the support of the hot-swap function is added, so that the storage media can be changed during operation. NVM Express (NVMe) continues to be used as the protocol, although M.2 SSDs were also addressed with SATA as an alternative.
Overall, U.2 SSDs are first intended for servers, workstations and storage systems. There you will therefore certainly find a large spread as the first. Later, however, the jump to the desktop PC or notebook may well take place. In addition, there are already corresponding adapters that allow, for example, the operation of a U.2 SSD on a M.2 slot.
The ruler format
Intel, on the other hand, has created a new SSD format, which was christened Ruler. The name hits it thereby already very well, because the SSDs are particularly long, but narrow. Officially, the form factor is also called EDSFF (Enterprise & Data Center SSD Form Factor). Accordingly, the SSDs are primarily intended for storage systems that want to connect as much storage as possible quickly in a small space in the rack. The maximum storage capacity is currently 32 TB, which ensures an enormous storage density in corresponding systems.
What to consider when buying
Through the new formats and interfaces, the range of SSDs is again more extensive. The more important it is to always check the compatibility of a new acquisition. Always check the specifications for the connection and the protocol used, such as SATA or NVMe, especially for plug-in cards. Corresponding information is often already listed in the data sheet of the respective device.
The well-known 2.5-inch SATA SSDs and those for the M.2 slot will remain available on the market for a longer time, since numerous end devices of the last few years support the models. Especially when upgrading a used computer that still uses an HDD, you will definitely notice the performance gain. Thus, you can simply sit back and enjoy the high speed after the successful commissioning.