Intel Optane SSD With 3D XPoint Memory Unveiled

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The first SSD to make use of 3D XPoint is the Optane DC P4800X, which won't necessarily excite consumers with its 375GB of storage, but it could be a game changer for data centres.

The SSD takes advantage of Intel's 3D XPoint technology, which is reportedly 1,000 times faster than NAND and comprising of a higher density than DRAM memory. It was claimed to be a whole new class of solid-state storage, offering blazing fast speeds and far superior reliability to the flash memory used in mainstream SSDs.

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).

"The Intel Optane SSD DC P4800X is the first product to combine the attributes of memory and storage", the company said.

Memory Drive could also mean a significant boost in the maximum addressable RAM for workloads that benefit from exceptionally large memory pools, with a two-socket Xeon system seeing a boost from 3TB of RAM to 24TB of Optane memory and a four-socket Xeon system extended from 12TB of RAM to 48TB of Optane. This increases scale per server and also accelerate applications. This method integrates the drive into the memory subsystem and presents the SSD in the form of DRAM to the OS and apps. 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 exact specifications of how the memory works haven't been made clear by the chipmaker. Bit storage is based on a change of bulk resistance, in conjunction with a stackable cross-gridded data access array. Intel stated production of the SSD would pick up in the second half of the year, which is also when a 1.5 TB PCIe card along with a 750 GB and 1.5 TB U.2 stick will also be in the offering. In the future, there will be a 750GB version of this available, along with a 375GB model in a U.2 form factor.

The drives are available immediately to Intel customers in the early ship program.

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