The Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO) has ratified the SATA 3.2 storage spec, adding support for a SATA Express spec that can piggyback on faster PCI Express lanes, and defining a new embedded single-chip microSSD. SATA 3.2 also embraces the tiny, SATA Express based M.2 form factor, which debuted in recent Intel and Samsung SSDs. Just as PATA (parallel ATA) was replaced by SATA storage that used a faster serial interface, SATA is now evolving to speed down the faster PCI Express lane. SATA 3.2′s primary enhancement was enabled by the ratification of the SATA Express spec in January. SATA Express allows SATA and PCI Express (PCIe) storage solutions to coexist, enabling a compliant host to support both. The key benefit is that SATA drives can now use the faster PCIe interface. This is especially important as increasingly speedy solid state drives (SSDs) have become faster than SATA. When using dual PCIe 3.0 lanes, SATA 3.2 SSDs can operate at speeds of up to 2GB/s, compared to 0.6GB/s (6Gb/s) for SATA 3.0. The use of PCIe is optional, and traditional hard disk drives (HDDs) and optical drives using serial interfaces will continue to be supported.Mobile device developers will likely use PCIe connections in conjunction with SATA 3.2′s new M.2 form factor (shown below), enabling thin, 80 x 22mm M.2 SATA SSDs suitable for tablets and thin notebooks. Initially defined by PCI-SIG as NGFF (next-generation form factor), M.2 supports technologies like WiFi, USB, PCIe, and SATA. Intel and Samsung have already announced M.2 form-factor drives, although only Samsung’s uses SATA Express (see farther below).