Samsung has started mass production of their NVMe PCIe solid state drive (SSD) which has an M.2 form factor for use in PCs and workstations. The new SM951-NVMe features advanced performance figures, low power use and a compact size..
Samsung has been offering an AHCI-based PCIe 3.0 version of its SM951 SSD since early January. Now, it has added an NVMe version to form an even stronger SSD portfolio. This follows a previous industry-first introduction of 2.5" NVMe SSDs for the server market in 2013.
The new NVMe-based SM951 SSD achieves sequential data read and write performance up to 2,260 megabytes per second (MB/s) and 1,600 MB/s, respectively, while using Samsung's leading-edge controller technology. These performance figures are the industry's most advanced, with speeds four and three times faster than those of a typical SATA-based M.2 SSD which usually moves data at up to 540 MB/s and 500 MB/s, respectively.
The drive attains its high-speeds by using four 8 gigabit-per-second (Gbps) lanes (PCIe Gen 3.0 x4) of simultaneous data flow. This allows for a data transfer rate of 32 Gbps and a maximum throughput of 4 GB/s, giving the new drive a huge advantage over SATA-based M.2 SSDs, which can only transfer data up to 600 MB/s.
When it comes to random read operations, the SM951-NVMe can process 300,000 IOPS (Input Output Per Second), which is more than twice as fast as the 130,000 IOPS rate of its AHCI-based equivalent and more than three times faster than the 97,000 IOPS of a SATA-based SSD.
Meeting all M.2 form factor requirements, the drive's thickness does not exceed 4 millimeters, (3.73 millimeters maximum, when equipping chips on both sides of the board). This is less than the thickness of two stacked nickels. The drive also weighs less than 7 grams, which is lighter than two nickels and only a tenth the weight of a 2.5" SSD. Capacities are 512 gigabyte (GB), 256 GB and 128 GB.
In addition, the SM951-NVMe has adopted the L1.2 low-power standby mode (which allows all high-speed circuits to be turned off when a PC is on sleeping mode or in hibernation), as defined by PCI-SIG, the PCIe standards body. By embracing the L1.2 level of standby operation, the SM951's power consumption is drastically reduced - to under 2mW, representing about a 97 percent decrease from the 50mW consumed using an L1 state, which is the most widely used low-power mode today.
In the future, Samsung plans to incorporate its next-generation 3D V-NAND technology into its NVMe SSD line-ups, which will enable even higher densities and performance. Samsung also will maintain a fast-to-market supply of advanced SSDs to meet increasing customer demand, as the company continues to lead the premium SSD market and aggressively innovates to expand the mainstream SSD segment.