Intel Corp. has begun shipping new storage drives based on its 3-D XPoint non-volatile memory technology as it targets data-driven workloads. Even though DRAM is cheaper today than ever before, it still costs significantly more than NAND and its volatile characteristics (where a loss of power causes data to be lost) makes it less than ideal for critical business applications.
Intel planned to launch 3D XPoint based solid state drives (SSDs) under the Optane brand "early in 2016".
So what does Intel's new solution offer?
Intel will also DRAM modules along with the SSD from the year 2018.
Intel also hopes 3D XPoint will spur growth throughout its portfolio.
What the companies didn't explain then - and haven't really done since - was how 3D XPoint operates. But doing so in volumes high enough to make the technology affordable will be "a herculean effort", Mr. Coupled with the new 3D XPoint architecture, the P4800X is said to use secretive materials that allow it to run much faster than NAND SSDs.
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The initial release is limited so don't expect to order one for your gaming PC, in fact putting this in your gaming PC would be doing it a disservice.
Intel says that its Optane drives will automatically accelerate existing applications and claims that the P4800X will consume roughly 12-14 watts under a heavy load, which is slightly more power-efficient than competing high-end NAND solutions, as per #Intel2. This technology has been included in the Optane series of products. This solution transparently integrates the drive into the memory subsystem and presents the SSD as DRAM to the OS and applications.
According to The Journal, Dell is now testing the technology for an unspecified goal. Alibaba Group is using it using it to help execute internet searches and Harvard University in cloud computing, according to Intel.
The technology comprises a transistor-less cross point architecture, hence the name. It hasn't announced its plans for specific products.
Let's look at that more closely. That technology, created by Intel and Micron Technology, represented the first significant memory breakthrough since NAND flash memory was introduced in 1989, according to its developers.