Note: This is a short version of the FAQ.
The full document will be available as a downloadable document (PDF) on the Resources Download page.
1. What is NVM Express?
NVM Express (NVMe) is the optimized, high performance, scalable host controller interface with a streamlined register interface and command set designed for NVM based storage. NVMe was developed to reduce latency and provide faster performance with support for security and end-to-end data protection. The first NVM Express products began shipping in 2014 and have demonstrated up to 6 times greater performance and lower latency than SATA Solid State Drives. NVM Express specifications are owned by NVM Express, Inc.
NVM Express, Inc. was formed as an industry association to define and develop a new storage interface protocol to enable the full performance potential provided by non-volatile memory storage technology, such as PCIe SSDs. NVM Express, Inc. promotes industry awareness of the NVM Express as an industry-wide standard to enable broad adoption and storage device interoperability.
2. Is NVM Express an industry standard?
NVM Express specifications are developed by an industry consortium, NVM Express, Inc., utilizing a standards based approach that enables broad ecosystem adoption and interoperability. Version 1.0 of the interface specification was released on March 1, 2011. Version 1.1 was released on October 11, 2012. Version 1.2 was released on November 3, 2014.
3. How is the specification developed? Can anyone contribute?
Specifications are developed by NVM Express, Inc. Any company interested in participating in specification development may join NVM Express, Inc. as a Contributor by signing the Participation Agreement and paying the membership dues. The agreement can be found on the JoinNVM Express page. All Contributors have equal input into the development and evolution of the specification.
4. Is there a specification currently available? If so where can I get a copy?
Version 1.0 of the specification was released on March 1, 2011. The specification is now at 1.0e and incorporates errata that the membership has identified as part of implementing the interface. The 1.1 specification was published on October 11, 2012. The 1.2 specification was published on November 3, 2014. The 1.1 and 1.2 specifications add valued capabilities for Enterprise and Client platforms. The specifications can be found on the Resources-PDF Download page.
5. What is the legal framework of the NVM Express organization?
NVM Express, Inc. is an incorporated non-profit Special Interest Group. There are 3 categories of members, Promoters, Contributors and Adopters. The NVM Express group is led by 13 Promoter companies who have board seats and provide overall governance. Promoters are elected and serve two year terms. Contributor companies are welcome to participate in regularly scheduled technical working sessions that develop specifications and in marketing sessions to further adoption of the interface in the industry. Adopters have access to ratified Technical Proposals and are welcome to participate in NVM Express Marketing activities. Additional information is available in the Bylaws. To join, a company executes a Participation Agreement and submits the appropriate membership dues.
6. Who are the companies that form the NVM Express Promoters Group?
The Promoters Group is composed of 13 companies, Cisco, Dell, EMC, HGST, Intel, Micron, Microsoft, NetApp, Oracle, PMC, Samsung, SanDisk, and Seagate.
7. Who are the members of the NVM Express, Inc.?
NVM Express, Inc. is composed of over 60 companies. A list of the companies who have agreed to make their names public can be found on the Resources page.
8. Are there annual dues?
Yes, there are annual dues for each level of membership. Additional information regarding dues and benefits for the different membership levels is located on the Join NVM Express page.
9. How do I join?
Information on joining NVM Express, Inc. membership dues and benefits are located on the Join NVM Express page. To join NVM Express, download and fill out the Participation Agreement, and follow the directions to send it to us for processing. Once received, you will be invoiced for the appropriate membership dues. If you are interested in participating in drafting specifications and in Workgroup meetings, please join as a Contributor.
10. When will NVM Express supporting products ship?
PCI Express SSDs supporting NVM Express are available today. Please contact your preferred SSD vendor or system vendor for information.