Apple has quietly added support for next-generation NVM express SSD interface in the latest OS X 10.10.3 and the new 12 inch retina MacBook. Nvme refers to non volatile memory express, with random read performance more than 10 times faster than the previous high-end SATA SSD. This performance improvement is due to the synergy of the PCI 3.0 interface and NVM Express technology.
After using the PCI 3.0 interface, its speed is 2 times faster than the PCI Express SSD based on the PCI 2.0 interface, which was first mass produced in the industry in June. NVM Express technology can also greatly improve the speed of SSD. The 12 inch retina MacBook went on sale on April 10.
Nvme software interface replaces AHCI software interface used in Apple’s previous notebook. The new interface provides lower latency and better performance than the old protocol. AHCI can be traced back to 2004, when AHCI interface was designed for mechanical hard disk. This also means that AHCI can not realize the full potential of SSD. The industry must develop new software interface and break through the limitation of AHCI. So nvme came out.
The new protocol only refers to the software interface, not the connection between SSD and notebook motherboard. Apple upgraded to a faster PCI connector a few years ago. In the future, nvme will allow Apple’s hardware to further improve SSD performance, improve battery life, and achieve faster data transmission speed. Intel believes that in the near future, nvme interface will enter tablet computers and smart phones.