Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) is a protocol that allows very high speed access to Solid State Drives (SSDs). The important thing to understand about NVMe is that it only defines how the data is read and transferred. The NVMe protocol can be used on M.2 based drives and PCIe based drives. NVMe is not comparible to M.2 because M.2 is not a protocol but instead a physical form factor specification. You can think of NVMe as the logical side while M.2 is the physical side.
NVM Express (NVMe) or Non-Volatile Memory Host Controller Interface Specification (NVMHCIS) is an open, logical-device interface specification for accessing a computer's non-volatile storage media usually attached via PCI Express (PCIe) bus. The initialism NVM stands for non-volatile memory, which is often NAND flash memory that comes in several physical form factors, including solid-state drives (SSDs), PCIe add-in cards, and M.2 cards, the successor to mSATA cards. NVM Express, as a logical-device interface, has been designed to capitalize on the low latency and internal parallelism of solid-state storage devices.Architecturally, the logic for NVMe is physically stored within and executed by the NVMe controller chip that is physically co-located with the storage media, usually an SSD. Version changes for NVMe, e.g., 1.3 to 1.4, are incorporated within the storage media, and do not affect PCIe-compatible components such as motherboards and CPUs.By its design, NVM Express allows host hardware and software to fully exploit the levels of parallelism possible in modern SSDs. As a result, NVM Express reduces I/O overhead and brings various performance improvements relative to previous logical-device interfaces, including multiple long command queues, and reduced latency. The previous interface protocols like AHCI were developed for use with far slower hard disk drives (HDD) where a very lengthy delay (relative to CPU operations) exists between a request and data transfer, where data speeds are much slower than RAM speeds, and where disk rotation and seek time give rise to further optimization requirements.
NVM Express devices are chiefly available in the form