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ExpressCard SSDs - vendor list and market news

by Zsolt Kerekes, editor

SSDs which are compatible with the ExpressCard specification are just one of several ways of getting solid state disks inside notebooks.

The size and user value propositions for the notebook SSD market opportunity were described in the SSD market adoption model (published in 2005).

Depending on the size of the notebook, other SSD options include:-
  • 1.0" SSDs - which also includes motherboard soldered SSD chips and modules.
What really distinguishes the ExpressCard SSD market, however, is that it's the easiest way for users to perform an SSD upgrade on their notebooks. The other mentioned methods (which are significantly higher volume markets) tend to be done by the oem who made the notebook.

Several manufacturers have introduced dual interface SATA + USB SSDs - to simplify user upgrades. This involves transferring the data image from the internal hard drive onto the target SSD using USB - and then replacing the HDD with its SSD clone. But I expect that in the long term - ExpressCard will be the most popular choice for end-user SSD notebook upgrades. The reasons?
  • there's less to go wrong, and
  • the whole process is quicker
The main disadvantage of ExpressCard SSDs is that they are nearly always much slower than the available alternatives.

The ExpressCard interface and form factor is a logical descendant / inheritor of PCMCIA which provided internal expansion slots in earlier generations of portable PCs, phones and other mobile systems.

The 1st mention of "ExpressCard SSDs" - here on was June 2007 by a company called Cenatek - which was later acquired by Dataram.

This page also includes a vendor list and extracts from SSD news related to ExpressCard SSDs.
The Express Card SSD turned out later to be a market dead-end - so we stopped regular news coverage of the subjecton this page.

Effectively the role of ExpressCard SSDs has been replaced by PCIe SSDs in the M.2 form factor.

See also:- SSD news, SSD history
RunCore's new Express Card SSD

Editor:- March 1, 2010 - Among the many SSDs which RunCore will show at CeBIT 2010 this week is an Express Card flash SSD designed for notebooks

As well as providing upto 64GB capacity (R/W speeds 120MB/s and 90MB/s) - the Express 34 module also provides 2x USB 3.0 ports with connectors for linking the notebook to external devices.
... RunCore's  Express Card SSD / USB 3.0 adapter

Clarifying SSD Pricing - where does all the money go?

Editor:- January 27, 2010 - today published a new article - Clarifying SSD Pricing.

SSDs are among the most expensive items of computer hardware many of you will ever buy - with high end models costing more than high end servers.

Understanding the factors which determine SSD costs is often a confusing and irritating process - not made any easier when market prices for identical capacity SSDs can vary more than 100x to 1! This new guide suggests simple tactics to help you. the article

June 2009

PhotoFast launched the fastest ExpressCard - the G-Monster Express card 54. Initially for the Japanese market. R/W speeds are 180MB/s and 100MB/s respectively.

Version 2.0 of ExpressCard - will be 10x faster than the previous version. This is being done to help grow the market for ExpressCard SSDs.

March 2009

Pretec Electronics is sampling a 128GB ExpressCard SSD for the notebook market with 38/30MB/s R/W speeds and hardware encryption. Volume shipments are expected next month.

January 2009

PQI launched a 32GB ExpressCard SSD with 88MB/s read speed, and 48MB/s write.

Verbatim said it will ship a 64GB ExpressCard SSD in February (price $299.99 ) with read speed upto 125MB/s, and write speed upto 30MB/s.
SSD Market - past 12 months summary

SSD Market - 30 Years Market History
expresscard ssds page
Megabyte knew the ideal storage for
road warriors.
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ExpressCard SSD oems


Delkin Devices

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Pretec Electronics


Silicon Power

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