Lite-On EP1 Series SSDs deliver PCI Express speeds in M.2 format

The new solid-state drives, announced in advance of the upcoming Dell World 2014 expo, fit directly onto the PCIe bus of enterprise servers.


Drive maker Lite-On hopes to kill two birds with one stone in the form of its new EP1 Series lineup of enterprise solid-state drives. Generally, M.2 format drives are tiny, making them more energy efficient, but at the cost of performance. With the EP1 family, however, Lite-On is able to squeeze higher bandwidth out via its PCI Express interface.

The new SSDs are able to do so by fitting directly onto a server's PCIe Gen 2x4 interface. (This not the first time we have seen this setup, as Asus has developed the Hyper M.2 X4 adapter card, which accepts M.2 SSDs and attaches to a PCIe slot.) As a result, the EP1 can deliver up to 1,500MB/s sequential read speeds and sequentital writes of either 640MB/s or 1,200MB/s, depending on the capacity. The lower speed comes from the 480GB drive, while the 960GB version offers nearly double the write performance.

Other performance specs include 4KB random reads and writes of up to 150,000 and 44,000 IOPS, respectively, with latencies of 40/30 μs. Lite-On claims a mean time between failures of two million hours, and drive endurance of 1 Drive Write per Day (DWPD) for five years. To safeguard data, the EP1 Series includes a power loss protection circuit and multiple layers of data checkpoints.

Lite-On will be showing off the new SSDs at the upcoming Dell World 2014 expo, where perhaps the company will reveal pricing and availability, as neither has been disclosed yet.