What is the M.2?

The M.2 interface is a new host interface scheme, which can be compatible with a variety of communication protocols, such as SATA, PCIE, USB, HSIC, UART, SMBUS, etc.

The M.2 interface is a new generation interface standard tailored for ultrabooks, replacing the original MSATA interface. In terms of smaller size and higher transmission performance, the M.2 is far superior to the MSATA. As mSATA's "successor," M.2 provides higher performance and capacity while minimizing module footprint. That’s why M.2 become pupular in embedded sector as well.

Compared with MSATA, What are the main advantages of M.2?

The first is the advantage of speed. M.2 interface has two types: Socket 2(B key-- NGFF) and Socket 3(M key-- NVME). Socket2 supports SATA and PCI-E X2, and the maximum read speed can reach 700MB/s and write can reach 550MB/s using the PCI-E ×2 interface standard. Socket 3 can support PCI-E ×4 interface, and the theoretical bandwidth can reach 4 GB /s.

The second advantage is size. Although the MSATA solid-state drive is small enough, it still has no advantages over the MSATA solid-state drive with the M.2 interface. Like MSATA, the M.2 standard SSD can be used for single-sided NAND particle arrangement, as well as double-sided arrangement, where the total thickness of the single-sided arrangement is only 2.75mm and the thickness of the double-sided arrangement is only 3.85mm. The MSATA has obvious disadvantages in terms of volume. The size of 51mm×30mm makes the MSATA have no advantage in terms of area, and the thickness of the 4.85mm single-sided layout is too thick compared with the M.2. In addition, the M.2 can provide higher storage capacity even at the same size.

M.2 interface

M.2 Size

M.2 cards come with two major compatibility variables: length and key. The first is fairly obvious—your computer needs to have enough physical space to support the length of the card you want to use. The second variable—how the card is keyed—just means the card connector must match the slot you’ll be plugging it into.

M.2 cards

This motherboard supports M.2 cards in 42mm, 60mm, and 80mm lengths

For desktops, length isn’t typically a problem. Even a tiny Mini-ITX motherboard can easily make room for the maximum length M.2 PCB, which is 110 millimeters long. Some cards are as short as 30mm. You generally want a card to be the size intended for use by your motherboard manufacturer, as an indentation on the end of the PCB allows for a small screw to hold it securely in place.

All M.2 drives use the same width determined by the connection. The “size” is expressed in the following format; check for compatibility with your laptop or motherboard when picking one out:

  ● M.2 2230: 22 millimeters wide by 30 millimeters long.

  ● M.2 2242: 22 millimeters wide by 42 millimeters long.

  ● M.2 2260: 22 millimeters wide by 60 millimeters long.

  ● M.2 2280: 22 millimeters wide by 80 millimeters long.

  ● M.2 22110: 22 millimeters wide by 110 millimeters long.

Some motherboards are flexible, offering mounting holes for the retention screw at some or all of these intervals.

M.2 Key

While the M.2 standard uses the same 22 millimeter-wide slot for all cards, it’s not necessarily the exact same slot. Since M.2 is designed to be used with so many different kinds of devices, like Wi-Fi, WWAN, Bluetooth, GPS and has some frustratingly similar-looking ports.


M.2 interface


EVOC Industrial PC are more and more often to support M.2 interface. Please feel free to contact if any inquiry.

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