NVM Express 1.0 Enables Standards-based, Broad Adoption of SSDs using PCI Express┬« Interface
NVMHCI Work Group Releases Specification for PCI Express-based SSDs SANTA CLARA, Calif., March 1, 2011 - The NVM Express 1.0 specification that defines an optimized register interface, command set and feature set for PCI Express┬« (PCIe┬«)-based Solid-State Drives (SSDs) has been released today by the NVMHCI Work Group. The goal is to help enable the broad adoption of SSDs using the PCIe interface.
The significant advances in performance enabled by non-volatile memory-based storage technology, as embodied in PCI Express-based SSDs, has demanded the surrounding platform infrastructure evolve to keep pace and allow the system to realize the full potential of these devices. A primary goal of NVM Express is to provide a scalable interface that unlocks the potential of PCIe-based SSDs now and into the future. The interface efficiently supports multi-core architectures, ensuring thread(s) may run on each core with their own queue and interrupt without any locks required. For Enterprise-class solutions, there is support for end-to-end data protection, security and encryption capabilities, as well as robust error reporting and management capabilities.
The NVM Express specification offers numerous benefits as a standard interface through the interoperability it fosters. For example, each OS vendor may confidently write a driver that works for devices from multiple vendors. OEMs may procure devices from diverse suppliers that all implement a consistent feature set. Time to market may be reduced as validation times shrink with standard drivers and OEMs leverage the same test suites across devices.
"The NVM Express interface is an essential enabler for future generations of non-volatile memory storage solutions," said Tom Macdonald, vice president of the Intel Architecture Group and General Manager of Platform Components Group at Intel. "PCIe will continue to grow in importance as a solid-state drive interface driven by native attach points in our enterprise platforms."
"Dell supports the new NVM Express 1.0 specification and is working closely with device manufacturers to develop innovative, high-performance storage solutions based on this new interface," said Paul Prince, CTO of the Enterprise Product Group at Dell.
"EMC was a pioneer of the use of PCI Express, and then solid-state drives, in Enterprise Storage Systems," said Bill DePatie, vice president of Hardware Engineering at EMC. "The NVM Express interface brings out the best in both technologies, allowing systems to better exploit the performance characteristics of SSDs by more tightly integrating them into the system.
EMC is pleased to play a key role in driving this emerging standard."
"Cisco has a long history of driving standards-based innovation, most recently in the areas of unified fabric and IO virtualization," said Soni Jiandani, vice president, Server Access and Virtualization Group, Cisco. "We believe that a similar standards-based approach for PCI-based flash memory architectures will benefit our customers and are therefore helping to drive its adoption."
A standard Linux driver for NVM Express is already available and may be downloaded from http://www.intel.com/standards/nvmhci - NVELO is developing a standard NVM Express driver for Microsoft Windows ┬« operating systems, with an alpha release scheduled for Q3 2011.
The NVM Express specification was developed by the NVMHCI Work Group that includes more than 70 industry leading member companies. Core contributors include Cadence, Cisco, Dell, EMC, Fujitsu Technology Solutions, IDT, Intel, Marvell, Micron, Microsoft, NVELO, Oracle, Pliant, PLX, Samsung, SanDisk, SandForce, STEC and Violin Memory. The 1.0 specification may be downloaded from http://www.intel.com/standards/nvmhci