Data storage based on 2.5-in. and M.2 drives is being pushed to its form-factor limits that directly affect its future use in data centers. The 2.5-in. format is based on legacy HDD form factors and can’t keep technological pace with the continuous advances surrounding faster networking protocols, memory bandwidth, and interconnect technologies, coupled with more robust SSD interfaces such as PCIe 4.0, 5.0, 6.0, and beyond. These limitations have created a need for a new form-factor architecture.
To address these form factor limitations, the SFF Technical Affiliate (SFF-TA) working group of the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) architected E1.S form-factor specifications.