Kingston Technology | Understanding what’s new in SSD technology

Understanding what’s new in

SSD technology

NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) is a communications interface and driver that defines a command set and feature set for PCIe-based SSDs with the goals of increased and efficient performance and interoperability on a broad range of enterprise and client systems.

NVMe was designed for SSD. It communicates between the storage interface and the System CPU using high-speed PCIe sockets, independent of storage form factor.

Input/Output tasks performed using NVMe drivers begin faster, transfer more data, and finish faster than older storage models using older drivers, such as AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface). Because it was designed specifically for SSDs, NVMe is becoming the new industry standard.


What Should You Know?

Storage: Then and Now

DATA BUSES: Transport data within a system


Transfers up to...


Transfers up to...

Using 16 lanes, PCIe Gen 4 can transfer data at 32,000MB/s

Communication Drivers

Used by Operating Systems to communicate data with storage devices


Designed for Hard Drives with Spinning Disk technology

Has only 1 command queue

Can only send 32 commands per queue

Commands utilize High CPU cycles

Has a latency of 6 microseconds

Must communicate with the SATA controller

IOPs up to 100K


Designed for SSDs with Flash technology

Has 64K command queues

Can send 64K commands per queue

Commands utilize Low CPU cycles

Has a latency of 2.8 microseconds

Communicates directly with the System CPU

IOPs over 1 million

SSD Form Factors

The shapes and sizes of solid-state storage




(designed for smaller form factor systems)

(supports AHCI version)


HHHL – Half Height, Half Length
(also called AIC or Add-In Card)

AHCI versions of these drives plug into the PCIe slot, but use the AHCI drivers
Some older versions of HHHL use proprietary drivers
NVMe versions typically use native OS drivers

(supports NVMe version)

(only available in NVMe)

Beyond the Numbers

Benefits of NVMe Technology

Optimal Performance

Superior Storage

PCIe sockets transfer >25x more data than their SATA equivalent.

Superior Speed

NVMe begins sending commands more than 2x faster than AHCI drivers.

NVMe Input/Output Operations per Second exceeds 1 million and is up to 900% faster than its AHCI equivalent.

Superior Compatibility

NVMe cuts out the middle man by communicating directly with the System CPU.

NVMe-based drives work with all major Operating Systems, regardless of form factor.