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What is all this new disk stuff? -- M.2, NVME, Optane



Over the last few years the form factor for mass media storage devices has started to evolve.  PC motherboards and many laptops now have SSD (Solid State Drives) as their primary non-volatile storage.  The computer industry invented the NGFF (Next Generation Form Factor) system which is now called M.2.


The M.2  interface is directly connected to the bus structure of the computer.  This dramatically improves the speed of operations.  One of the largest improvements is the NVMe  protocol for very high speed parallel transfers. Here is a link to the Wikipedia article on M.2: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M.2


Intel is advancing the performance of SSD devices using their new Optane SSDs. These drives have much lower latency.  The Wikipedia article is a bit out of date but here it is: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3D_XPoint#Production


Intel, of course, has updated material and a marketing bent:  https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/architecture-and-technology/optane-memory.html


Intel chipsets with VPRO can use Optane memory on board.  It was originally built as a caching system for hard drives.  Optane can also act as very fast mass storage. It has been used in audio computers for performance and more.  




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