Do you still remember motherboards for mining cryptocurrencies with a huge amount of PCI-Express x1? The Chinese manufacturer Onda did something like this … Except with very many SATA ports instead of PCI-Express.
The Chinese often surprise us with strange solutions that are hard to find on our market. And these are chipset boards created for the 7th generation of Intel processors working with newer 8 and 9 generations, some unusual castling in the supported RAM memory and so on. This time it is about an above average number of SATA ports.
Disc with 32 SATA ports
How much is above average? And even very above average. I am talking about 32 pieces. But to make it more interesting, they are all embedded (including SATA power supply) immediately on the motherboard, they are not ordinary leads for SATA connection cables. Of course, a suitable extension cord could be used to mount the drives in some remote place.
To power the media, the board has as many as 6 power plugs known from graphics cards. Interestingly, there is no 24-pin ATX board power connector or 4/8-pin CPU connector. In fact, it resembles a disc for excavators, at least visually, because rows of SATA sockets from a distance can resemble PCIe.
… and in no format known to humanity
The Onda B250 D32-D3 has dimensions of 405.5 x 310.5 mm, so it is not compatible with any normal standardized sizes. You can insert Intel Skylake and Intel Kaby Lake processors (the chipset used is as you can deduce from the Intel B250 aisle). Probably, according to a foreign service, the disc must have a lot of additional chips that support SATA (most likely Marvell, they can be seen in photos as repetitive small elements), because the B250 would not have as many as 32 disks.
Another strange feature is even two slots for laptop DDR3L RAM, or SO-DIMM. They are sporadically found in stationary motherboards (mainly for miniPC), so this is not such an unusual property. We have few ports other than SATA. Only one PCI-Express x1 and 4 external USB 3.0, VGA, HDMI, two Ethernet sockets and a lot of connectors for additional fans (as many as 6 pieces as SYS FAN, but none are signed with the return FAN CPU).
The manufacturer's valuation of this unusual motherboard is 3299 yuan (in simple terms about 1822 zlotys). Something for the construction of the server? This is the only good explanation, although it would be easier to get the normal server components, not such a strange invention.