Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
Electronics | By Jesus Weaver

Intel launches new Optane 3D XPoint SSD memory cum RAM

Intel launches new Optane 3D XPoint SSD memory cum RAM

Intel has announced the the impending launch of its first Optane product, a high-performance PCI Express add-in board for servers and high-performance computers (HPCs).

Intel Corp. has begun shipping new storage drives based on its 3-D XPoint non-volatile memory technology as it targets data-driven workloads.

Sadly, this functionality isn't as flexible as it first sounds, in Optane's initial outing at least: Intel is launching two distinct products, the Intel Optane SSD DC P4800X and the Intel Optane SSD DC P4800X with Intel Memory Drive Technology. It often refers to Optane as "a storage solution that behaves like system memory".

In July 2015, Intel announced a new memory technology called 3D XPoint, and asserted that it would be 1,000 times faster than traditional NAND flash at the architectural level.

The Intel Optane SSD DC P4800X is the first product to combine the attributes of memory and storage, On March 19, 2017, Intel announced the first product for $1,520 United States dollars, 375GB PCI SSD card. Intel is calling its 3D XPoint SSDs Optane drives, Taking into account hardware and software overhead as well.

Intel's Optane SSDs are built to offer performance at low queue depth, with the majority of applications delivered to generate storage workloads enabling CPUs are more active and utilised.

In terms of endurance, Intel said Optane could handle up to 30 drive writes per day and up to 12.3 petabytes of written data.

Beyond its speed as a standard SSD replacement - which the chip giant said is between 8 to 40 times more responsive under load compared to a SSD DC P3700 - Intel is touting its usage as a memory extender. The chipmaker had then gone to town trumpeting the insane capabilities of the new memory which Intel claimed is about a 1,000 times faster than any modern SSD. This type of memory does not feature transistors and does not trap electrons to store data.

The Optane DC P4800X is roughly five to eight times faster than many leading SSDs and should help fill the gap created by DRAM shortages.

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