Solid-state drive (SSD) manufacturers are working with a new standard interface that allows SSDs to work at speeds closer to their full potential.
SSD developers have been using buses such as SATA, SAS or Fibre Channel for interfacing with the rest of a computer system. SATA has been the most typical way for connecting SSDs in personal computers; however, SATA was designed for mechanical hard disk drives, and has become increasingly inadequate as SSDs have improved. Having a faster, standard interface, which is built from the ground up to accommodate SSD architecture, enables device manufacturers to focus on product improvements without having connection issues.
The new interface for solid state drive design was developed by NVM Express, a group made up of 100’s of expert’sfrom technology companies, including Cisco, Dell, EMC, HGST, Intel, LSI Corporation, Micron, NetApp, Oracle, PMC-Sierra, Samsung, SanDisk and Seagate. By standardizing the interface of SSDs, operating systems need only one driver to work with all SSDs. This also means that SSD manufacturer’s do not use additional resources to design specific interface drivers.
The introduction of this new interface, which is called Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe), is similar in importance to USB connections used to link computers and peripheral devices, “with no per-device drivers needed”.