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In this article, we will explain what is NVMe and its benefits over traditional SATA drives.

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Dec, 18

The new and improved storage technology

Since the inception of computers, storage mediums have improved and evolved over time. From punch cards to floppy disks and hard drives, we have been attempting to store more information on the smallest devices possible. Size is not the only factor we are trying to improve though. The speed with which data can be transferred is another thing we are trying to increase for the purposes of performance.

Well, there is a new player in the field; one that absolutely dominates the previous victors. NVMe SSDs are a relatively new storage medium that simply blows all others out of the waters.

 

What is NVMe?

NVMe(i.e. non-volatile memory express) is a storage protocol that defines a command set and feature set for PCIe-based solid-state drives (SSDs) .

NVMe was created to accelerate the transfer of data between enterprise and client systems and SSDs over a high-speed PCIe (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express) bus.

 

NVMe is a new standard

Older standard by name AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface) was designed for hard drives. Since the introduction of non-volatile storage (e.g. NAND and MRAM), the industry must have developed a software interface that abolishes the limits of AHCI.

The main benefits of NVMe-based PCIe SSDs over SAS-based and SATA-based SSDs are, reduced latency in the host software stack, higher input/output operations per second (IOPS), and potentially lower power consumption, depending on the form factor and the number of PCIe lanes in use.

What is NVMe

NVMe can support SSDs that use different types of non-volatile memory, including NAND flash and the 3D XPoint technology developed by Intel and Micron Technology. Supported form factors include add-in PCIe cards, M.2 SSDs and U.2 2.5-inch SSDs. NVMe reference drivers are available for a variety of operating systems, including Windows and Linux.

What is NVMe

 

Differences between BUSs in data transfer

Bus

Using 16 lanes, PCIe Gen4 can transfer data at speeds up to 32,000 MB/s.

 

Differences between storage protocols

Protocols