Thursday May 25, 2017

NVMe 1.3 Specification Brings New Features to SSDs

After nearly two and a half years, the NVMe specification has finally been bumped up to 1.3, bringing new capabilities and support for both client and enterprise SSDs. Some of the more obvious features include an interface allowing for a SMART-ish self-test feature, a secure-erase function that goes beyond just removing data from a drive’s media, and improved power management with multiple power states. I am thinking about trying multiple M.2 NVMe drives in my next build to see what that can do for video muxing.

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Version 1.2 of the NVMe specification was ratified in November 2014 and since then there have been numerous corrections and clarifications but the only significant new feature added were the enterprise-oriented NVMe over Fabrics and NVMe Management Interface specifications. The NVMe 1.3 specification ratified last month and published earlier this month brings many new features for both client and server use cases. As with previous updates to the standard, most of the new features are optional but will probably see widespread adoption in their relevant market segments over the next few years. Several of the new NVMe features are based on existing features of other storage interfaces and protocol such as eMMC and ATA.