Micron’s 3D XPoint-based OuantX memory devices may not arrive until late 2017

Why it issues to you

Micon will supply a second choice for patrons wanting to hurry up their techniques utilizing reminiscence merchandise utilizing the newest know-how, however not till late this yr.

Intel’s Optane merchandise that depend on 3D XPoint non-volatile memory technology, which was co-developed with Micron, lastly made their debut at CES 2017 in January. Nevertheless, they gained’t be the one reminiscence options in 2017 to depend on this new know-how, as Micron plans to launch merchandise of its personal beneath the QuantX model that may give attention to excessive-finish techniques and servers.

Scott DeBoer, vice chairman of Micron, made this revelation during an analyst meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona, indicating that 3D XPoint know-how goals to extend storage capability whereas decreasing knowledge latency and finish-consumer value although DIMM modules and strong-state drives. However these merchandise won’t be made obtainable for some time, giving Intel an enormous leap forward of Micron in regard to market saturation with 3D XPoint-based mostly merchandise.

That’s as a result of Micron indicated in a recent earnings call that the corporate would see little or no income from merchandise based mostly on this know-how in fiscal 2017. As an alternative, Micron expects to see 5 % of its income in fiscal 2018 stemming from its at present unannounced 3D XPoint-based mostly QuantX units.

Extra: Intel’s partners already testing memory modules based on its Optane technology

Throughout CES 2017, Intel revealed two Optane stick-formed SSDs that slip into M.2 slots on motherboards. The modules solely had 16GB and 32GB capacities, which means they might be used to offer SSD-like efficiency in techniques that also depend on clunky exhausting drives. These sticks can be mounted on a particular PCI Categorical card that’s put in in a system like a graphics card.

A system with an put in Optane storage system turns into quicker as a result of probably the most-used information are saved within the 3D XPoint reminiscence whereas all the opposite knowledge resides on the onerous drive. The large cope with 3D XPoint reminiscence is that it’s supposedly 1,000 occasions quicker than NAND flash know-how and 1,000 occasions extra dependable too. Much more, 3D XPoint is round half the price of DRAM.

3D XPoint know-how is totally different than normal NAND flash know-how in that it stacks reminiscence cells vertically as an alternative of horizontally. It doesn’t depend on transistors however as an alternative consists of a “three-dimensional checkerboard” that includes reminiscence cells that sit on the intersection of rows (phrase strains) and columns (bit strains). This permits reminiscence cells to be accessed immediately, which include small quantities of knowledge that may be shortly learn and written.

“Perpendicular conductors join 128 billion densely packed reminiscence cells,” Micron states. “Every reminiscence cell shops a single bit of knowledge. This compact construction leads to excessive efficiency and excessive density.”

In a nutshell, Intel and Micron have created reminiscence know-how that’s quick like system reminiscence (DRAM), has the storage functionality of SSDs (non-risky), and is very cheap. It’s a marriage of two reminiscence courses that gives 10 occasions extra storage density than conventional DRAM. It additionally eliminates the info move bottleneck created inside the CPU/DRAM/storage pathway, rushing up the system.

Micron will probably speak extra about its QuantX merchandise later in 2017 throughout Computex and/or CeBIT.

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