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Seagate unveils the first NVMe HDD

By Ken Wong - on 12 Nov 2021, 12:20pm

Seagate unveils the first NVMe HDD

The NVMe protocol has so far only been used with SSDs. Image source: Pexels.

Seagate took the lid off the first NVMe HDD at the OCP Global Summit.

Usually paired with SSDs, the Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) protocol replaced the ageing AHCI protocol by increasing parallelism and allowing more commands to be queued simultaneously.

NVMe drives usually come in the form of an m.2 form factor or the PCIe-3.0 form factor. These plug into the PCIe-3.0 slots on a motherboard like a GPU.

Seagate says their implementation provides integrated NVMe protocol support within the HDD controller itself requiring no bridge and supports SAS, SATA, and NVMe protocols. They added that the goal is to pave the way for a seamless consolidated NVMe interface across HDDs and SSDs.  

Seemingly based their demo around their EXOS X18 drives, Seagate showcased the functionality of the NVMe HDDs in a proof-of-concept 2U 12-bay JBOD enclosure including a PCIe switch that provided the fabric interconnect for the connected hard drives.

Without revealing performance numbers, Seagate spoke about the total cost of ownership (TCO) advantages through consolidation and simplicity.

According to Seagate, key customers should see availability in September 2022 with broader availability coming in 2024.

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