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Sniperfox47

NVMe to USB enclosures may (finally) be coming soon!

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Source: https://www.cnx-software.com/2018/06/11/asm2362-usb-pcie-nmve-ssd-chip/

 

Thanks to a new controller chip from ASMedia for passing PCIe data over USB channels we may finally see enclosures for those older Samsung 950 drives people are replacing!

 

Quote

Most USB enclosure or expansion drive are designed with a SATA interface that tops out at 6 Gbp. That’s fine in most cases,  but if your host computer comes with USB 3.1 Gen2 SuperSpeed 10 Gbps (SuperSpeed+) port capable of even better performance, ASMedia now has a solution for faster USB drives with their ASM2362 USB 3.1 Gen2 to PCIe NVMe SSD chip.

So this is a controller chip for boards and enclosures that will allow a standard 4x PCIe NVMe drive to talk to a computer as an external USB drive. This means that you can take advantage of NVMe's faster speeds, but do note that USB will still introduce a lot of latency compared to native NVMe.

 

ASMedia-USB-SATA-vs-USB-NVMe-Large.jpg

 

The above picture shows a Samsung 960 Pro connected to a backboard with this controller absolutely smashing the Samsung T5 (I believe that's using the commercial version of the 850 Evo). This is to be expected, but it's promising to see benefits on the 4k end too, where you'd expect the latency to hit the drive more. Please do also note that this is comparing a Pro line NVMe drive to a Evo (consumer) line SATA drive so it's by no means an apples to apples comparison.

 

As stated on the source, very little is known about this controller so far and there's no official product listing yet. I haven't even seen any official confirmation that the controller itself is handling the NVMe protocol and just providing a USB Mass storage device. If not it may require proprietary drivers on the PC side. Currently unknown.

 

Take this with a grain of salt because there's still very little info known, but hopefully in the coming months we'll get more details and maybe see some devices with it early next year!

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I read somewhere that ordinary USB is quite power limited and for some reason NVMe drives use a ton of power so we may end up seeing external devices power throttle and therefore get bottlenecked. So while it may be an improvement, latencies aside, you may not see the full speed.

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2 minutes ago, Trixanity said:

I read somewhere that ordinary USB is quite power limited and for some reason NVMe drives use a ton of power so we may end up seeing external devices power throttle and therefore get bottlenecked. So while it may be an improvement, latencies aside, you may not see the full speed.

The power limit shouldn't matter on usb type C devices (100w limit iirc) 


#killedmywife #howtomakebombs #vgamasterrace

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38 minutes ago, simson0606 said:

The power limit shouldn't matter on usb type C devices (100w limit iirc) 

That's only on USB C and only if the port is speced for it. Not every USB C port or device will allow 100W. For example a Macbook can't output 100W over its USB port - even its power adapter can't. I'm not even sure if we've seen a device reach the 100W limit in real world scenarios.

Although I expect a proper type C port to be able to do at least 10-20W ordinarily with power delivery and more if speced for 'advanced' power delivery. Most common A ports should ordinarily be 5V/1A meaning 5W and NVMe drives frequently meet or exceed that.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 hour ago, Trixanity said:

I read somewhere that ordinary USB is quite power limited and for some reason NVMe drives use a ton of power so we may end up seeing external devices power throttle and therefore get bottlenecked. So while it may be an improvement, latencies aside, you may not see the full speed.

The 960 Pro (the drive they're using in this demo) draws a 5.1-5.8W (depending on drive size) average under load according to the official documentation from Samsung.

 

USB 2.0 and lower provides up to 2.5W (0.5A) so it will hella throttle.

 

USB 3.0 and higher provides up to 4.5W (0.9A) so it will throttle a little but should get most of it's performance.

 

But this is really meant for USB-C devices. USB-C Current compliant devices (most devices with a USB-C port) can provide up to 7.5W (1.5A) or 15W (3A) over USB-C to devices that request it. This should be more than enough for all current NVMe drives, and should supply ample headroom for future higher power consumption growth.

 

1 hour ago, simson0606 said:

The power limit shouldn't matter on usb type C devices (100w limit iirc) 

USB-C itself still only provides 0.5A for USB 2.0 or 0.9A (4.5W) for USB 3.0 by default.

 

There's an optional part of the core USB-C spec called USB Type-C Current which almost all vendors impliment which allows a type-C port to provide up to 3A (15W) to devices that explicitly request it.

 

Power delivery is an entirely seperate spec that is entirely optional and can provide different levels of power depending on the implimentation. To the best of my knowledge few if any laptops or phones support Power Delivery for output, just input.

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3 minutes ago, Sniperfox47 said:

USB 2.0 and lower provides up to 2.5W (0.5A) so it will hella throttle.

 

USB 3.0 and higher provides up to 4.5W (0.9A) so it will throttle a little but should get most of it's performance.

 

But this is really meant for USB-C devices. USB-C Current compliant devices (most devices with a USB-C port) can provide up to 7.5W (1.5A) or 15W (3A) over USB-C to devices that request it. This should be more than enough for all current NVMe drives, and should supply ample headroom for future higher power consumption growth.

 

1 hour ago, simson0606 said:

The power limit shouldn't matter on usb type C devices (100w limit iirc) 

USB-C itself still only provides 0.5A for USB 2.0 or 0.9A (4.5W) for USB 3.0 by default.

This is very varied. The spec is as you stated, but every board, tablet, computer, has different max currents. I have an Asus laptop that shuts the USB 3 port down at 1.7 amps, my tablets I build at work have usb 2 ports that do up to 1.5, my motherboard does 2.1.

 

But given the standard is so low, I wouldn't be surprised if some of the dual USB cables for extra power return


Fanboys are the worst thing to happen to the tech community World. Chief among them are Apple fanboys. 

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1 hour ago, Trixanity said:

I read somewhere that ordinary USB is quite power limited and for some reason NVMe drives use a ton of power so we may end up seeing external devices power throttle and therefore get bottlenecked. So while it may be an improvement, latencies aside, you may not see the full speed.

Honestly I would be more concerned with what someone would even use this for? It seems like a super niche product that has pretty limited usefulness over other external drives and enclosures. 

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1 minute ago, Brooksie359 said:

Honestly I would be more concerned with what someone would even use this for? It seems like a super niche product that has pretty limited usefulness over other external drives and enclosures. 

I find it's often cheaper to buy an internal drive and an enclosure than outright buying an external drive (and often it's better too - even if it's not cheaper). Then there's replacing a drive in a machine and not having anywhere to put the old one that's still useable so you buy an enclosure and use it as an external drive. I've done that with several old laptop drives.

 

Granted, if this comes to market it'll probably be expensive as hell and right now I'm not sure how feasible NVMe drives are for external use (both price and performance taken into that consideration) and how many left over NVMe drives people would realistically have. I've mostly had like 500 GB HDDs leftover and then a single SATA SSD; that's of course older machines and not done that in the past 4 fours so I haven't had the opportunity to have an NVMe drive available for that purpose.

 

But one cool use case is having a portable Windows setup on an external SSD that you can boot everywhere and have access to all your stuff. I used that to dual boot Windows on a Macbook for example.

 

Note: that the OP is talking about a controller chip which would allow new NVMe-to-USB enclosures which fits the use cases I've described. Prototypes often appear bulky so actual implementations will look different than the picture.

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5 minutes ago, Trixanity said:

I find it's often cheaper to buy an internal drive and an enclosure than outright buying an external drive (and often it's better too - even if it's not cheaper). Then there's replacing a drive in a machine and not having anywhere to put the old one that's still useable so you buy an enclosure and use it as an external drive. I've done that with several old laptop drives.

 

Granted, if this comes to market it'll probably be expensive as hell and right now I'm not sure how feasible NVMe drives are for external use (both price and performance taken into that consideration) and how many left over NVMe drives people would realistically have. I've mostly had like 500 GB HDDs leftover and then a single SATA SSD; that's of course older machines and not done that in the past 4 fours so I haven't had the opportunity to have an NVMe drive available for that purpose.

 

But one cool use case is having a portable Windows setup on an external SSD that you can boot everywhere and have access to all your stuff. I used that to dual boot Windows on a Macbook for example.

 

Note: that the OP is talking about a controller chip which would allow new NVMe-to-USB enclosures which fits the use cases I've described. Prototypes often appear bulky so actual implementations will look different than the picture.

Yeah I said enclosures as well. My point is that this gives little reason to use this over your ordinary external enclosure. I mean the whole point of a nvme drive is for insane speeds which honestly won't be super useful in this type of application especially with the added latency of usb.

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7 minutes ago, Brooksie359 said:

Yeah I said enclosures as well. My point is that this gives little reason to use this over your ordinary external enclosure. I mean the whole point of a nvme drive is for insane speeds which honestly won't be super useful in this type of application especially with the added latency of usb.

Well, you'll get the bandwidth but not the latency of NVMe so I do think it's valid. It's just not (at least not right now) a mainstream offering since most will have SATA and SATA is still the dominant standard.

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yeah, FINALLY a temporary access solution for cloning data to NVMe sticks. FINALLY

no more finding a PC to plug it to a PCIe slot or M.2 stub (seriously it was the only way)

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7 minutes ago, Trixanity said:

Well, you'll get the bandwidth but not the latency of NVMe so I do think it's valid. It's just not (at least not right now) a mainstream offering since most will have SATA and SATA is still the dominant standard.

Yeah you get the extra bandwidth but for what? Transferring large amounts of data? Well nvme drives are so expensive that a larger slower sata ssd makes more sense. All I am saying is that the uses are super niche. 

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2 hours ago, Trixanity said:

I read somewhere that ordinary USB is quite power limited and for some reason NVMe drives use a ton of power so we may end up seeing external devices power throttle and therefore get bottlenecked. So while it may be an improvement, latencies aside, you may not see the full speed.

that doesn't really matter I think, for me nvme has been a pain in the ass to work with as if I want to connect the drive to another pc I gotta shove it in the pcie slot adapter or something. There's nvme to sata solutions out there, but I hear they're janky

So this will make setup/troubleshooting/imaging a drive much easier.


muh specs 

Gaming and HTPC (reparations)- ASUS 1080, MSI X99A SLI Plus, 5820k- 4.5GHz @ 1.25v, asetek based 360mm AIO, RM 1000x, 16GB memory, 750D with front USB 2.0 replaced with 3.0  ports, 2 250GB 850 EVOs in Raid 0 (why not, only has games on it), some hard drives

Screens- Acer preditor XB241H (1080p, 144Hz Gsync), LG 1080p ultrawide, (all mounted) directly wired to TV in other room

Stuff- k70 with reds, steel series rival, g13, full desk covering mouse mat

All parts black

Workstation(desk)- 3770k, 970 reference, 16GB of some crucial memory, a motherboard of some kind I don't remember, Micomsoft SC-512N1-L/DVI, CM Storm Trooper (It's got a handle, can you handle that?), 240mm Asetek based AIO, Crucial M550 256GB (upgrade soon), some hard drives, disc drives, and hot swap bays

Screens- 3  ASUS VN248H-P IPS 1080p screens mounted on a stand, some old tv on the wall above it. 

Stuff- Epicgear defiant (solderless swappable switches), g600, moutned mic and other stuff. 

Laptop docking area- 2 1440p korean monitors mounted, one AHVA matte, one samsung PLS gloss (very annoying, yes). Trashy Razer blackwidow chroma...I mean like the J key doesn't click anymore. I got a model M i use on it to, but its time for a new keyboard. Some edgy Utechsmart mouse similar to g600. Hooked to laptop dock for both of my dell precision laptops. (not only docking area)

Shelf- i7-2600 non-k (has vt-d), 380t, some ASUS sandy itx board, intel quad nic. Currently hosts shared files, setting up as pfsense box in VM. Also acts as spare gaming PC with a 580 or whatever someone brings. Hooked into laptop dock area via usb switch

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13 minutes ago, Syntaxvgm said:

that doesn't really matter I think, for me nvme has been a pain in the *** to work with as if I want to connect the drive to another pc I gotta shove it in the pcie slot adapter or something. There's nvme to sata solutions out there, but I hear they're janky

So this will make setup/troubleshooting/imaging a drive much easier.

I was thinking the same thing.  Whenever we get a computer for repair at work that's using an NVMe drive, we have to run the tests (sector scan, virus scan, etc) directly on the computer.  With all other drives - even the SATA M.2's - we can pull them out and connect it to one of our diagnostic computers.  This will make our jobs much easier.

 

I hope they provide versions that use external power, though.  I'd hate to be limited to strictly Type-C connections (going on @Sniperfox47's post above).

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5 minutes ago, Jito463 said:

I was thinking the same thing.  Whenever we get a computer for repair at work that's using an NVMe drive, we have to run the tests (sector scan, virus scan, etc) directly on the computer.  With all other drives - even the SATA M.2's - we can pull them out and connect it to one of our diagnostic computers.  This will make our jobs much easier.

 

I hope they provide versions that use external power, though.  I'd hate to be limited to strictly Type-C connections (going on @Sniperfox47's post above).

well if it's type c you'll probably be able to break out the power connection and covert the data connect maybe?


muh specs 

Gaming and HTPC (reparations)- ASUS 1080, MSI X99A SLI Plus, 5820k- 4.5GHz @ 1.25v, asetek based 360mm AIO, RM 1000x, 16GB memory, 750D with front USB 2.0 replaced with 3.0  ports, 2 250GB 850 EVOs in Raid 0 (why not, only has games on it), some hard drives

Screens- Acer preditor XB241H (1080p, 144Hz Gsync), LG 1080p ultrawide, (all mounted) directly wired to TV in other room

Stuff- k70 with reds, steel series rival, g13, full desk covering mouse mat

All parts black

Workstation(desk)- 3770k, 970 reference, 16GB of some crucial memory, a motherboard of some kind I don't remember, Micomsoft SC-512N1-L/DVI, CM Storm Trooper (It's got a handle, can you handle that?), 240mm Asetek based AIO, Crucial M550 256GB (upgrade soon), some hard drives, disc drives, and hot swap bays

Screens- 3  ASUS VN248H-P IPS 1080p screens mounted on a stand, some old tv on the wall above it. 

Stuff- Epicgear defiant (solderless swappable switches), g600, moutned mic and other stuff. 

Laptop docking area- 2 1440p korean monitors mounted, one AHVA matte, one samsung PLS gloss (very annoying, yes). Trashy Razer blackwidow chroma...I mean like the J key doesn't click anymore. I got a model M i use on it to, but its time for a new keyboard. Some edgy Utechsmart mouse similar to g600. Hooked to laptop dock for both of my dell precision laptops. (not only docking area)

Shelf- i7-2600 non-k (has vt-d), 380t, some ASUS sandy itx board, intel quad nic. Currently hosts shared files, setting up as pfsense box in VM. Also acts as spare gaming PC with a 580 or whatever someone brings. Hooked into laptop dock area via usb switch

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well first external hdd were all wall powered so... it's going to be the same.
big fatty old hdd.
Western-Digital-External-Hard-Drive-160G


Case: Corsair 760T  |  Psu: Evga  650w p2 | Cpu-Cooler : Noctua Nh-d15 | Cpu : 8600k  | Gpu: Gygabyte 1070 g1 | Ram: 2x8gb Gskill Trident-Z 3000mhz |  Mobo : Aorus GA-Z370 Gaming K3 | Storage : Ocz 120gb sata ssd , sandisk 480gb ssd , wd 1gb hdd | Keyboard : Corsair k95 rgb plat. | Mouse : Razer deathadder elite | Monitor: Dell s2417DG (1440p 165hz gsync) & a crappy hp 24' ips 1080p | Audio: Schiit stack + Akg k712pro + Blue yeti.

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14 minutes ago, Peskanova said:

well first external hdd were all wall powered so... it's going to be the same.

I'm not sure what your point is, any 3.5" HDD is going to require an external power source when connected through USB.  Even today you can still buy 3.5" external HDD's that require a power supply.  This doesn't draw anywhere near the power of a 3.5" drive, so there's no logical reason it should require separate power.

16 minutes ago, Syntaxvgm said:

well if it's type c you'll probably be able to break out the power connection and covert the data connect maybe?

Are you meaning something like this (obviously not with mini-USB, just using this as a reference)?

Cablecc-U2-023-0-8M-USB-2-0-Two-A-Type-M

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15 minutes ago, Jito463 said:

Are you meaning something like this (obviously not with mini-USB, just using this as a reference)?

Cablecc-U2-023-0-8M-USB-2-0-Two-A-Type-M

should work I think? not sure how does the USB Power Delivery spec works ._. (what's sending data and power at the same time? o_o)

 

(for USB 3.2 there should be a type-C connector for the host end as well, since 2 lanes and whatnot)

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40 minutes ago, Jito463 said:

I'm not sure what your point is, any 3.5" HDD is going to require an external power source when connected through USB.  Even today you can still buy 3.5" external HDD's that require a power supply.  This doesn't draw anywhere near the power of a 3.5" drive, so there's no logical reason it should require separate power.

Are you meaning something like this (obviously not with mini-USB, just using this as a reference)?

Cablecc-U2-023-0-8M-USB-2-0-Two-A-Type-M

no lol I mean breakout to a wall adapter, though I have a few of those that's not a bad idea lol


muh specs 

Gaming and HTPC (reparations)- ASUS 1080, MSI X99A SLI Plus, 5820k- 4.5GHz @ 1.25v, asetek based 360mm AIO, RM 1000x, 16GB memory, 750D with front USB 2.0 replaced with 3.0  ports, 2 250GB 850 EVOs in Raid 0 (why not, only has games on it), some hard drives

Screens- Acer preditor XB241H (1080p, 144Hz Gsync), LG 1080p ultrawide, (all mounted) directly wired to TV in other room

Stuff- k70 with reds, steel series rival, g13, full desk covering mouse mat

All parts black

Workstation(desk)- 3770k, 970 reference, 16GB of some crucial memory, a motherboard of some kind I don't remember, Micomsoft SC-512N1-L/DVI, CM Storm Trooper (It's got a handle, can you handle that?), 240mm Asetek based AIO, Crucial M550 256GB (upgrade soon), some hard drives, disc drives, and hot swap bays

Screens- 3  ASUS VN248H-P IPS 1080p screens mounted on a stand, some old tv on the wall above it. 

Stuff- Epicgear defiant (solderless swappable switches), g600, moutned mic and other stuff. 

Laptop docking area- 2 1440p korean monitors mounted, one AHVA matte, one samsung PLS gloss (very annoying, yes). Trashy Razer blackwidow chroma...I mean like the J key doesn't click anymore. I got a model M i use on it to, but its time for a new keyboard. Some edgy Utechsmart mouse similar to g600. Hooked to laptop dock for both of my dell precision laptops. (not only docking area)

Shelf- i7-2600 non-k (has vt-d), 380t, some ASUS sandy itx board, intel quad nic. Currently hosts shared files, setting up as pfsense box in VM. Also acts as spare gaming PC with a 580 or whatever someone brings. Hooked into laptop dock area via usb switch

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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 hour ago, Brooksie359 said:

Yeah I said enclosures as well. My point is that this gives little reason to use this over your ordinary external enclosure. I mean the whole point of a nvme drive is for insane speeds which honestly won't be super useful in this type of application especially with the added latency of usb.

Dude I have 3 use cases for these. Niche yeah but there definitely has been a market of people begging for these. I think some of these we're already listed but here's my 3.

 

To be able to actually have a use for the 2 950 pros and my second 32gb Optane drive. They're currently just sitting on my shelf collecting dust.

 

To use for diagnostic test benches and drive cloning. You have no idea how valuable this is from a technician standpoint.

 

Connecting a high performance SSD to a small ARM based SBC or Dev board. Most of these don't have PCIe on the SoC but more and more are coming with USB 3.1gen1 or even 3.1gen2.

 

29 minutes ago, VegetableStu said:

should work I think? not sure how does the USB Power Delivery spec works ._. (what's sending data and power at the same time? o_o)

 

(for USB 3.2 there should be a type-C connector for the host end as well, since 2 lanes and whatnot)

Those should let you double up on the 900mA current since there's no authentication for that.

Won't let you double up the 1.5A or 3A USB-C mode because you need to negotiate for that over the CC lanes.

 

And just to be clear this controller is officially confirmed to only support USB 3.1gen2, not the new Dual lane 3.2.

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Yes let me use an nvme USB with my internal SATA disks yah? Not saying this shouldn't be a thing but still. I guess if you have an NVME SSD you could install windows in 5 secs


I spent $2500 on building my PC and all i do with it is play MTGA & watch anime at 720p...

Builds:

The Toaster Project! Northern Bee! The Cassette Deck!

 

The original LAN PC build log! (Old, dead and replaced by The Toaster Project & 5.0)

Spoiler

"Here is some advice that might have gotten lost somewhere along the way in your life. 

 

#1. Treat others as you would like to be treated.

#2. It's best to keep your mouth shut; and appear to be stupid, rather than open it and remove all doubt.

#3. There is nothing "wrong" with being wrong. Learning from a mistake can be more valuable than not making one in the first place.

 

Follow these simple rules in life, and I promise you, things magically get easier. " - MageTank 31-10-2016

 

 

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9 minutes ago, Sniperfox47 said:

Those should let you double up on the 900mA current since there's no authentication for that.

Won't let you double up the 1.5A or 3A USB-C mode because you need to negotiate for that over the CC lanes.

 

And just to be clear this controller is officially confirmed to only support USB 3.1gen2, not the new Dual lane 3.2.

so in theory if one wants an extra cable for power, the device must provide an extra any-port dedicated to power? o_o

 

6 minutes ago, Bananasplit_00 said:

Yes let me use an nvme USB with my internal SATA disks yah? Not saying this shouldn't be a thing but still. I guess if you have an NVME SSD you could install windows in 5 secs

I feel this should be a necessary thing though ._. I've seen countless questions on how does one clone SATA-based storage to NVMe sticks without plugging in to PCIe, and this seems to be the saving grace that came too late

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3 minutes ago, VegetableStu said:

 

I feel this should be a necessary thing though ._. I've seen countless questions on how does one clone SATA SSDs to NVMe sticks, and this seems to be the saving grace that came too late

There have been enclosures to adapt M.2 to USB for quite a while, just slower? And I can't say I would ever recommend anyone clone their OS installs around either


I spent $2500 on building my PC and all i do with it is play MTGA & watch anime at 720p...

Builds:

The Toaster Project! Northern Bee! The Cassette Deck!

 

The original LAN PC build log! (Old, dead and replaced by The Toaster Project & 5.0)

Spoiler

"Here is some advice that might have gotten lost somewhere along the way in your life. 

 

#1. Treat others as you would like to be treated.

#2. It's best to keep your mouth shut; and appear to be stupid, rather than open it and remove all doubt.

#3. There is nothing "wrong" with being wrong. Learning from a mistake can be more valuable than not making one in the first place.

 

Follow these simple rules in life, and I promise you, things magically get easier. " - MageTank 31-10-2016

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Bananasplit_00 said:

There have been enclosures to adapt M.2 to USB for quite a while, just slower? And I can't say I would ever recommend anyone clone their OS installs around either

I don't think you can use a SATA M.2 to USB adapter for an NVMe M.2 stick (or adapt NVMe to SATA for the matter) o_o

(although after this point there's a clear controller that guarantees NVMe to USB)

 

EDIT: oh my god, the dream of a nondiscriminate SATA/NVMe M.2 to USB adapter O_O

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