NVMe uses PCI Express to finally unleash the true power of NAND flash memory

Posted by Paul Braren on Apr 22 2015 (updated on May 22 2015) in
  • CPU
  • Motherboard
  • Storage
  • Above image courtesy of Samsung's SATA to PCIe article, excerpt here:

    When the 8 channels in typical applications are multiplied by the 400 MB/s transfer rate spanning multiple NAND Flash memories, the result is a 3.2 GB/s data transfer speed. This transfer rate is out of range for SATA to support, which has 600MB/s of maximum bandwidth, therefore Samsung decided to use NVMe to leverage PCIe, which delivers higher bandwidth and shorter latency in SSDs, enabling systems to process the large amounts of data in today's applications.

    I enjoy reading about forward-thinking tech. What's emerging lately is the exciting prospects for home virtualization enthusiasts, given the potentially wonderful confluence of:

    • The Intel Xeon D-1500 SoC (System on a Chip), which combines an efficient 8 core Xeon with a tiny motherboard that crams a PCIe slot, an M.2 storage slot, and 4 DIMM slots (allowing up to 120GB of RAM)

    • The rise of NVMe, leaving AHCI/SATA behind, for a very speedy storage future

    Think about that for a minute. That little M.2 interface can be used for an NVMe flash drive, such as the recently announced Samsung NVMe PCIe SSD. Yeah, none of that measly 600 MB/sec that SATA3 caps out at. Let your SSD investment fly, without resorting to RAID. All the way up to 4000 MB/sec. Yum.

    See also

    • The Future of High Performance Storage with NVM Express – Intel Chip Chat – Episode 370

    • NVM Express Infrastructure - Exploring Data Center PCIe Topologies (click image below):

    See also at TinkerTry

    Apr 24 2015 Update

    Found a great discussion about NVMe on PC Perspective Podcast 346 - 04/23/15 at 38 minutes and 50 seconds into the YouTube video here, or just enjoy the whole podcast here:

    May 22 2015 Update

    Fun little video about Intel's NVMe at PCWorld, where Gordon Mah Ung declares the pronunciation to be, get this:

    Envy Me

    Notice the green color. Get it?

    Another good PCWorld read discusses the current pickle we're in: Intel's chipsets just aren't able to keeping up with rapidly improving flash storage speeds.