Plextor announced today the M6e solid-state drive (SSD). Unlike the standard SATA SSDs, such as the Plextor M5 Pro Xtreme (512GB), the M6e comes designed as a PCIe add-in card and requires an available PCIe slot (such as the one used by your video card) to work. Needless to say, it fits only in a desktop computer.
PCIe has much faster bus speed than SATA, and hence, the M6e is designed to offer much faster performance than even the fastest SATA SSDs. According to Plextor, it delivers the maximum sequential read/write speeds of 770/625 MBps and random read/write speeds of 105K/100K IOPS.
The drive supports PCIe 2x2 interface and is powered by a server-grade multicore Marvell 88SS9183 controller with native PCI 2.0 support. It uses high performance Toggle NAND flash memory from Toshiba.
Plextor says the M6e uses its home-grown firmware, designed for gaming applications, stability, and longevity with the mean-time between failures calculated at 2.4 million hours. While using the new PCIe interface, the M6e supports the Advanced Host Controller Interface (ACHI) that is used by SATA drives, meaning it doesn't require a special set of drivers. The drive is also compatible with the legacy BIOS standard and will work with existing computer systems without requiring a motherboard upgrade. It also supports the new modern UEFI standard.
The new Plextor M6e PCI-e SSD is available this month in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB capacities. It's currently unclear how much it will cost.