In some cases nvme(4) may wait minutes for controller response before timeout, for example in case of broken hardware. Doing so in a tight spin loop makes whole system unresponsive.
Without the patch hot-plug of broken NVMe SSD makes system console stuck for two minutes. With the patch system remains responsive and just prints "controller ready did not become 1 within 120500 ms" two minutes later.
No for the last 10 years since 9e3ae31c7a935255092fff24544c3d120bbd15bc: "Given that the typical usage of pause() is pause("zzz", hz / N), where N can be greater than hz in some cases, simply ignore a timeout value of zero." The zero there is handled as one.