The M.2 interface

M.2 connector with key B+M
M.2 connector with key B+M

What is M.2?

M.2 is a specification for internal expansion cards on PC mainboards and notebook computers. M.2 was conceived as an successor of the mSATA interface and for the first time introduced by Intel in 2012 under the label Next Generation Form Factor (NGFF).

As for usage and interface variety, M.2 is more flexible because not only SATA signals can be transmitted via the M.2 interface but also USB and PCIe. Thereby extended functions are possible e.g. the application of WLAN, Bluetooth, GPS or NFC cards. 

For what M.2 is suitable?

There is already an M.2 interface in many PCs and notebook computers. It is ideally applicable to connect an SSD in a compact mobile device such as in a notebook computer and Ultrabook™ but also in a desktop PC.  

M.2 modules stand out for their compact design and flexible measurements. Thanks to the low power consumption M.2 SSDs can also easily be used as bootable drives within embedded systems.

Especially applicable for mobile devices and embedded systems

Which variants are there?

The M.2 standard contains variants with up to four PCIe lanes, one SATA 6 Gb/s and / or one USB 3.0 port. So it is possible to connect PCIe as well as SATA SSDs. Furthermore, both bus systems at every port can be used at the same time.

How is the design and what are the form factors?

M.2 cards have a rectangular shape. At their front side they show a plug connector strip and at their back side a centered placed semicircular recess. The recess is needed to mount the card: it can be slotted into the appropriate port at the board and fixed with a screw. Components can be mounted on the card's topside as well as their bottom side.

The size of an M.2 module is marked by its form factor. The form factor defines the width by length in millimeters. For example, the form factor 2260 means the card has a width of 22 mm and a length of 60 mm. The longest components have a length of 110 millimeters. At present, the most common M.2 SSDs have a width of 22 mm and a length of 42, 60 or 80 mm.

Form factors e. g. >>>  1630 Key E  •  2230 Key E  •  3030 Key A  •  2242 Key B+M  •  3042 Key A   •  2260 Key M  •  2280 Key B+M
Form factors e. g. >>>  1630 Key E  •  2230 Key E  •  3030 Key A  •  2242 Key B+M  •  3042 Key A   •  2260 Key M  •  2280 Key B+M

What do the M.2 keys mean?

The shape of the M.2 connectors differs depending on the interface the M.2 port provides. According to the possible applications the M.2 module has reccesses at certain points of the plug connector strip. The key signifies this connector form.

The different keys call for plug-in cards with reccesses at these certain points. Currently the keys B, M, A and E together with B+M and A+E are in use. The slot and the module have to support the same key in order to be compatible.


Schematic figure of contact shapes of Key B, Key M, Key B+M

Schematic figure of contact shapes of Key A, Key E, Key A+E

Schematic figure of contact shapes of Key B, Key M, Key B+M

Schematic figure of contact shapes of Key A, Key E, Key A+E
Which key supports which signal transfer?
Key supports
Key B SATA
Key M PCIe ( x2 / x4 )
Key B+M SATA or PCIe *
Key supports
Key A PCIe (x2) and USB
Key E PCIe (x2) and USB
Key A+E PCIe (x2) and USB *
* Depending each on the internal connection

Please note: Theoretically and / or in future, the Keys listed here are able to support also other kinds of signals. Furthermore, Keys that are not listed here are reserved for coming variants or interfaces. The table depicted above is valid for Delock products.
Which key supports which signal transfer?
Key supports
Key B SATA
Key M PCIe ( x2 / x4 )
Key B+M SATA or PCIe *
Key A PCIe (x2) and USB
Key E PCIe (x2) and USB
Key A+E PCIe (x2) and USB *
* Depending each on the internal connection

Delock M.2 product examples

Converters

NEW
Converter M.2 Key B+M male >
2 x Mini SATA pin 8 power plug

Connectors:
     1 x 59 pin M.2 Key B+M male >
     2 x SATA 6 Gb/s plug pin 8 power with latchtype
     1 x 2 pin power connector (power supply for SATA devices)
     2 x 3 pin power connector (optional)
Interface: PCIe
Form factor: M.2 2242
Suitable for M.2 slot with key M or B based on PCIe
Data transfer rate up to 6 Gb/s
Supports HDD and SSD
Dimensions (LxWxH): ca. 42 x 22 x 11 mm

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Also for connection of SATA DOM with standard power supply!
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Converter SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps with USB Type-C™ female >
1 x SATA / 1 x M.2 Key B / 1 x mSATA

Connectors:
     1 x SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps (USB 3.1 Gen 2) USB Type-C™ female >
     1 x SATA 6 Gb/s 22 pin receptacle
     1 x 67 pin M.2 key B slot
     1 x mSATA slot (half size / full size)
Interface: SATA
Chipset: Asmedia ASM1351
Supports M.2 modules in format 2280, 2260 and 2242
      with key B or key B+M based on SATA
Maximum height of the components on the module: 1.35 mm,
      application of double-sided assembled modules supported
Suitable for 2.5″ SATA HDD / SSD: supports 3.3 V / 5 V HDD / SSD
Supports SATA 1.5 Gb/s, SATA 3 Gb/s and SATA 6 Gb/s
Dimensions (LxWxH): ca. 90 x 40 x 8 mm

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Converter SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps with USB Type-C™ female > 1 x SATA / 1 x M.2 Key B / 1 x mSATA

Connectors:
     1 x SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps (USB 3.1 Gen 2) USB Type-C™ female >
     1 x SATA 6 Gb/s 22 pin receptacle
     1 x 67 pin M.2 key B slot
     1 x mSATA slot (half size / full size)
Interface: SATA
Chipset: Asmedia ASM1351
Supports M.2 modules in format 2280, 2260 and 2242 with key B or key B+M based on SATA
Maximum height of the components on the module: 1.35 mm, application of double-sided assembled modules supported
Suitable for 2.5″ SATA HDD / SSD: supports 3.3 V / 5 V HDD / SSD
Supports SATA 1.5 Gb/s, SATA 3 Gb/s and SATA 6 Gb/s
Dimensions (LxWxH): ca. 90 x 40 x 8 mm

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All connectors at front (left side) and back (right side)
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Converter M.2 Key A+E male >
1 x Mini PCIe Slot half size / full size

Connectors:
     1 x 59 pin M.2 key A+E male >
     1 x Mini PCIe slot
Interface: PCIe + USB
Form factor M.2: 2230
Form factor Mini PCIe: half size and full size
Suitable for M.2 slot with key A or key E based on PCIe and USB
PCI Express Rev. 1.1
Operating temperature: 0 °C ~ 80 °C
Dimensions (LxWxH):
     M.2 board: ca. 30 x 22 x 3 mm
     Mini PCIe board: ca. 69 x 45 x 6 mm

Converter M.2 Key B+M male >
2 x USB 3.0 Pin Header

Connectors:
     1 x 59 pin M.2 Key B+M male >
     2 x 19 pin USB 3.0 pin header male
     1 x 4 pin pin header power connector (optional for power supply)
Interface: PCIe
Form factor: M.2 2280 (resp. 2260)
Suitable for M.2 slot with key M or B+M based on PCIe
Chipset: Renesas
Data transfer rate up to 5 Gbps
Dimensions (LxWxH): ca. 82 x 22 x 14 mm

3.5" Converter SATA 22 Pin / SFF-8643 >
1 x M.2 Key M + 1 x M.2 Key B

Connectors:
     1 x SATA 6 Gb/s 22 pin female (for SATA SSDs)
     1 x 36 pin SFF-8643 female (for PCIe SSDs 2 or 4 lanes)
     1 x 67 pin M.2 key M slot (PCIe SSD)
     1 x 67 pin M.2 key B slot (SATA SSD)
Interface: SATA / PCIe (2 or 4 lanes)
Supports M.2 modules in format 2280, 2260, 2242 and 2230
      with key M or key B+M based on PCIe or SATA
Maximum height of the components on the module: 1.5 mm,
      application of double-sided assembled modules supported
SATA 15 pin power connector always necessary
Supports NVM Express (NVMe)
Maximale Ausgangsstromstärke: 4 A (PCIe) und 3 A (SATA)
Dimensions (LxWxH):
     Board incl. installation frame: ca. 140 x 100 x 23 mm
     Board without installation frame: ca. 120 x 87 x 16 mm

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3.5" Converter SATA 22 Pin / SFF-8643 > 1 x M.2 Key M + 1 x M.2 Key B

Connectors:
     1 x SATA 6 Gb/s 22 pin female (for SATA SSDs)
     1 x 36 pin SFF-8643 female (for PCIe SSDs 2 or 4 lanes)
     1 x 67 pin M.2 key M slot (PCIe SSD)
     1 x 67 pin M.2 key B slot (SATA SSD)
Interface: SATA / PCIe (2 or 4 lanes)
Supports M.2 modules in format 2280, 2260, 2242 and 2230 with key M or key B+M based on PCIe or SATA
Maximum height of the components on the module: 1.5 mm, application of double-sided assembled modules supported
SATA 15 pin power connector always necessary
Supports NVM Express (NVMe)
Maximale Ausgangsstromstärke: 4 A (PCIe) und 3 A (SATA)
Dimensions (LxWxH):
     Board incl. installation frame: ca. 140 x 100 x 23 mm
     Board without installation frame: ca. 120 x 87 x 16 mm

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Adapters

NEW
Adapter Mini PCIe > M.2 Key E slot

Connectors:
     1 x Mini PCIe male >
     1 x 67 pin M.2 Key E slot
Interface: USB 2.0 / PCIe
Form factor: Mini PCIe full size / half size
Supports M.2 modules in format 2242, 2230, 3042 and 3030
      with key E or key A+E based on USB / PCIe
Maximum height of the components on the module: 1.5 mm,
      application of double-sided assembled modules supported
Dimensions (LxW): ca. 54 x 30 mm

Connectors:
     1 x Mini PCIe male >
     1 x 67 pin M.2 Key E slot
Interface: USB 2.0 / PCIe
Form factor: Mini PCIe full size / half size
Supports M.2 modules in format 2242, 2230, 3042 and 3030 with key E or key A+E based on USB / PCIe
Maximum height of the components on the module: 1.5 mm, application of double-sided assembled modules supported
Dimensions (LxW): ca. 54 x 30 mm

Adapter M.2 > 1 x RJ45 Gigabit LAN Port (PCIe)

Connectors:
     1 x M.2 key B+M male >
     1 x Gigabit LAN RJ45 female
Interface: PCIe (2.1 x1)
Form factor: M.2 2280
Chipset: Intel® i210
Maximum power consumption: 0.65 W (3.3 V, 200 mA)
Dimensions (LxWxH): ca. 50.9 x 30 x 7.05 mm

Adapter M.2 > mSATA

Connectors:
     1 x 59 pin M.2 key B+M male >
     1 x mSATA slot (half size / full size)
Interface: SATA
Suitable for full size and half size modules
Dimensions (LxWxH): ca. 80 x 31.5 x 4.7 mm

More products in the area of M.2

PCI Express Card >
1 x internal NVMe M.2 PCIe / 1 x internal SFF-8643 NVMe

Connectors:
     1 x 67 pin M.2 key M slot
     1 x PCI Express x4, V3.0
     1 x 36 pin SFF-8643 female
Interface: PCIe
Low profile form factor
Supports M.2 modules in format 2280, 2260, 2242 and 2230
      with key M or key B+M based on PCIe
Maximum height of the components on the module: 1.35 mm,
      application of double-sided assembled modules supported
Supports NVM Express (NVMe)
Short circuit protection, over heating protection

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PCI Express Card > 1 x internal NVMe M.2 PCIe / 1 x internal SFF-8643 NVMe

Connectors:
     1 x 67 pin M.2 key M slot
     1 x PCI Express x4, V3.0
     1 x 36 pin SFF-8643 female
Interface: PCIe
Low profile form factor
Supports M.2 modules in format 2280, 2260, 2242 and 2230 with key M or key B+M based on PCIe
Maximum height of the components on the module: 1.35 mm, application of double-sided assembled modules supported
Supports NVM Express (NVMe)
Short circuit protection, over heating protection

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External Enclosure M.2 SSD 80 mm >
SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps (USB 3.1 Gen 2)

Connectors:
     external: 1 x SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps (USB 3.1 Gen 2) USB Type-C™ female
     internal: 1 x 67 pin M.2 key B slot
Chipset: Asmedia ASM1351
Supports M.2 modules in format 2280, 2260, 2242 and 2230
      with key B based on SATA
Maximum height of the components on the module: 1.35 mm,
      application of double-sided assembled modules supported
Data transfer rate up to 6 Gbps
LED indicator for power and access
Dimensions (LxWxH): ca. 126 x 40 x 10 mm

External Enclosure M.2 SSD > SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps (USB 3.1 Gen 2)

Connectors:
     external: 1 x SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps (USB 3.1 Gen 2) USB Type-C™ female
     internal: 1 x 67 pin M.2 key B slot
Chipset: Asmedia ASM1351
Supports M.2 modules in format 2280, 2260, 2242 and 2230 with key B based on SATA
Maximum height of the components on the module: 1.35 mm, application of double-sided assembled modules supported
Data transfer rate up to 6 Gbps
LED indicator for power and access
Dimensions (LxWxH): ca. 126 x 40 x 10 mm

Also available as:
Item 42573  Enclosure M.2 SSD 60 mm
Item 42572  Enclosure M.2 SSD 42 mm

M.2 Flash Module SATA 6 Gb/s SSD 256 GB

Connector: 59 Pin M.2 Key B+M Stecker
Interface: SATA 6 Gb/s
Form factor: M.2 2242
Chipset: Toshiba
Flash Type: MLC
Storage capacity: 256 GB
Maximum speed: read 530 MB/s - write 210 MB/s
Maximum write cycles: 3000
Maximum power consumption: 1.4 W (3.3 V x 422 mA)
With Thermal Sensor, ATA security, iSmart
Operation temperature: Industrial grade -40 °C ~ 85 °C
Dimensions (LxWxH): ca. 42 x 22 x 3.2 mm

All Delock M.2 products at a glance
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