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Published: Tue, March 21, 2017
Research | By Jennifer Evans

Intel Optane - Making 3D XPoint Memory Real

Intel Optane - Making 3D XPoint Memory Real

In the second half of this year, the SSD will become widely available. On Sunday the corporation released its first high capacity Optane SSD drive; the DC P4800X with 375GB of storage.

For more information on the new Intel Optane P4800X storage jump over to the offiical Intel website for details by following the link below. Micron, which will market 3D XPoint under the brand name QuantX, plans to sell products based on technology this year.

While the above figures do highlight the stupendous capabilities of the new P4800X memory, the same also makes it as a fit case for use in the fields of artificial intelligence computing and new-age machine learning techniques. Memory Drive manages this combined storage pool and allocates data to the physical RAM or Optane SSD automatically and transparently.

3D XPoint is one of the technologies vying to be a universal memory: something which is as cheap as DRAM, as fast as SRAM and non volatile like flash. It is aimed at data center customers and could deliver most improvement when used for caching and database workloads. Intel said it expects the cost structure to be closer to that of NAND than of DRAM. However, to be used as part of a memory pool, they will require support for Intel Memory Drive Technology which now only works with select applications.

The new drives can be dropped into the server without the need for any BIOS changes for an instant performance upgrade. 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. Intel has stated earlier that these drives will be eight times faster than the ordinary SSDs that are available in the market. It's a bit tricky to sort his out since Intel compared the new 375GB Optane DC P4800X against its own DC P3700 drives whose capacity point begin at 400GB.

While standard SSDs can typically sustain high rates of input/output operations per second (IOPS) only with a high queue depth - meaning the server is constantly bombarded with requests - Intel says its Optane drives can achieve similar figures with low queue depths.

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