Seagate Demonstrates 3.5″ HDD with NVMe and PCIe 3.0 Interface

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Seagate demonstrated the first hard drive with native NVMe support at the Open Compute Project Summit. The hope is that in the future, data center HDDs and SSDs will both use the same NVMe interface.

Seagate’s demo model uses a controller that supports the SAS, SATA, and NVMe protocols through an NVMe connection, without the need for a bridge. The NVMe HDD was demonstrated in a 2U server in which twelve 3.5″ NVMe HDDs were connected to a PCIe switch. The first version used PCIe 3.0, but commercial variants are expected to support PCIe 4.0.

While NVMe and PCIe support faster speeds than the SATA and SAS protocols, the move to NVMe HDDs isn’t just about facilitating faster read and write speeds. With the switch, HDDs and SSDs in servers would use the same connections, which should simplify the hardware for servers. This would require fewer components. NVMe HDDs should therefore deliver lower cost of ownership as well as energy savings, as well as better scalability and performance improvements.

The first samples of Seagate’s NVMe HDDs are expected to be available to select customers in September 2022. Commercial hard drives with NVMe will follow in mid-2024, the manufacturer reports. For now, the NVMe HDDs seem to be mainly intended for data centers. It is not clear whether consumer HDDs with NVMe support will also appear in the future.

Source: Seagate

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