On March 19, 2017, Intel announced that their first 3D XPoint memory will be available in the second half of 2017. As promised, this week Intel’s Optane SSD memory officially became available. In 3D XPoint storage, each data cell does not need a transistor so the storage density can be up to 4 times that of standard DRAM. It offers the incredibly fast speeds and access times of DRAM, but has the capacity of traditional flash storage.
3D XPoint is a non-volatile memory technology announced by Intel and Micron Technology in July 2015. Bit storage is based on a change of bulk resistance, in conjunction with a stackable cross-gridded data access array. Price is intended to be less than dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) but more than flash memory.
On the lower end, there is Optane SSD memory for consumer market, a small M.2 cache drive intended to boost mechanical HDD performance. On the higher end, there is Intel Optane SSD DC P4800X Series, which is the most responsive data center SSD. The SSD DC P4800X is the first product to combine the attributes of memory and storage. This is optimized to break through storage bottlenecks by providing a new data tier. It accelerates applications for fast caching and storage, increases scale per server, and reduces transaction costs for latency sensitive workloads. In addition, data centers can now also deploy bigger and more affordable data sets to gain new insights from large memory pools.