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Posts Tagged ‘3d xpoint’

Intel to Launch Optane Memory M.2 Cards for Desktop PCs Next Month for $44 and Up

March 28th, 2017 18 comments

Intel launched their first Optane SSD based on 3D Xpoint technology for the enterprise/datacenter market last week, and now the company has announced 16GB and 32GB consumer grade Optane memory will start selling in April starting at $44.

The cards will follow M.2 card (80mm) form factor, use a dual PCIe NVMe 3.0 interface, and currently only works with Optane compatible motherboards with 7th generation Intel Core processors. Intel promises boot times that are twice as fast, 28% better overall performance, and 65% faster game level loads thanks to vastly improved random I/O performance.

We can see some of the specs for both cards on Intel website. I reproduced some of the performance reliability data in the table below.

32GB Optane Memory 16GB Optane Memory
Sequential Read (up to)
Up to 1350 MB/s Up to 900 MB/s
Sequential Write (up to)
Up to 290 MB/s Up to 145 MB/s
Random Read (8GB & 100% span)
Up to 240000 IOPS Up to 190000 IOPS
Random Write (8GB & 100% span)
Up to 65000 IOPS Up to 35000 IOPS
Latency – Read
9 µs 7 µs
Latency – Write
30 µs 18 µs
Power – Active
3.5 Watts
Power – Idle
1 Watt
Endurance Rating (Lifetime Writes) 182.5 TB
Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) 1.6
Uncorrectable Bit Error Rate (UBER) < 1 sector per 10^15 bits read

The read sequential performance looks good, but the write performance is lower than one some of cheap mini PCs I’ve reviewed in the last year. For example the 128GB FORESEE SSD inside Voyo V3 mini PC gets respectively 400 MB/s and 200 MB/s sequential read and write speed in actual benchmarks. What make Optane memories stands out are random read and write performance, as well as ultra-low latency, which explains why Intel promotes system boot time and app loading times. For example, Microsoft Outlook will launch up to nearly 6x faster, and the Chrome browser up to 5x faster.

I’m not too familiar with endurance data, and it’s really odd MTBF is expressed without unit, but if we look at an Intel 30GB consumer mSATA SSD for comparison, MTBF is expressed in hours (1.2 millions), so I guess that means the Optane memory MTBF is 1.6 millions hours, and the UBER number is less than 1 sector per 10^16 bits read, so endurance numbers are mixed, and there does not seem to be any clear advantage for the Optane memory in that respect. Power consumption of Optane memory is also much higher than the mSATA SSD I linked to (Idle: 250 mW; active: 300mW).

Intel Optane memory will start selling on April 24th for $44 for the 16GB version, and $77 for the 32GB version. You’ll be able to install the memory in one of the 130+  Intel Optane memory ready motherboards from manufacturers such as Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, ASRock and others, and in Q2 2017, several PC manufacturers will start selling computers equipped with the new 3D Xpoint memory cards. More details may be found on Optane memory product page.

Categories: Hardware, Intel Core Tags: 3d xpoint, intel, ssd

Intel Optane SSD DC P4800X is the First SSD based on 3D Xpoint Technology

March 20th, 2017 1 comment

3D Xpoint – pronounced “3D cross point” – was introduced in 2015 with the promise of delivering a 1000 times boost in performance and durability compared to NAND flash, and a density that 10 times better than DRAM. The next year, expectations were lowered quite a bit, when Intel presented a comparison between a high performance “NAND” SSD and a 3X point SSD prototype showing 7.23 times higher IOPS performance. The company has now launched its first 3D Xpoint product with Optane SSD DC P4800X with 375GB capacity.

Optane SSD DC P4800X specifications:

  • Capacity – 375GB
  • Interface – PCIe 3.0 x4, NVMe
  • Form Factor – Add-in-Card (AIC); Half-height, Half-length, Low-profile
  • Latency (typical) R/W – <10μs
  • Quality of Service (QoS)  99.999%
    • 4kB 5 Random Queue Depth 1, R/W: <60/100 μs
    • 4kB Random Queue Depth 16, R/W: <150/200 μs
  • Throughput
    • IOPS Random 4kB R/W – Up to 550/500k
    • IOPS Random 4kB 70/30 Mixed R/W – Up to 500k
  • Endurance
    • 30 Drive Writes per day (JESD219 workload)
    • 12.3 Petabytes Written (PBW)

Intel did not mention sequential throughput, that’s because Optane SSD are designed for specific datacenter applications where the important performance metrics are random I/Os, latency, QoS, and endurance.  It’s also possible to get the SSD with “Intel Memory Drive Technology” that integrates the drive into the memory subsystem and presents the SSD as DRAM to the operating system and applications.

Intel did not mention the price in the press release, but Anandtech reports the 375 GB model is selling for $1,520, which goes up to $1951 with Memory Drive support, and 750GB and 1.5 GB models are coming in respectively Q2 & H2 2017. All models with come with a 5-year warranty. More information should be available on Intel Optane SSD DC P4800X Series product page.

Categories: Hardware Tags: 3d xpoint, benchmark, intel, ssd

Intel Announces Optane Brand for 3D XPoint SSD and DIMM Modules

August 19th, 2015 1 comment

Last month, Intel and Micron unveiled 3D XPoint technology – pronounced 3D Crosspoint – promising over 1,000 times the performance and durability of NAND flash, and 10 times the density of DRAM for non-volatile memory. Intel has now showcased some of the first products to use that technology with an Optane SSD.

Intel_Optane_3D_XPoint_SSDAt IDF 2015, Intel compared the performance of their high-end P3700 SSD delivering 10,600 IOPS against an early 3D Xpoint “Optane” SSD prototype that could deliver 76,600 IOPS or 7.23 times more I/O per seconds, while according to Anandtech some other tests still ran 5 times faster on 3D Xpoint compared the NAND based SSD.

Intel plans to release 3D XPoint SSD in 2016, as well as 3D Xpoint DIMM modules for the datacenters. These are exciting developments, but it will probably take a few more years before it comes affordable for consumer devices, as a 400GB P3700 SSD already costs close to $900.

Categories: Hardware Tags: 3d xpoint, intel, server, ssd

Intel and Micron Promise 1000x Faster Storage with 3D XPoint Memory

July 30th, 2015 1 comment

Non-volatile memory is usually the bottleneck in electronics systems and computers, as it takes much longer to move data from storage than in RAM or cache, so any improvement may yield great benefits, especially when your application requires lots of I/Os. Micron and Intel claim to have developed a new category of memory, and announced 3D XPoint (Read “3D cross-point”) memory as the first break through since the launch of NAND Flash in 1989.

What_is_3D_XPointThere’s great variability between different NAND flash chips, but the companies announced that 3D XPoint is 1,000 times faster and endurant (write cycles) than NAND flash, and 10 times denser than conventional DRAM. The technology would mainly benefit most applications, but especially more demanding ones such as high resolution gaming (4K/8K), real-time pattern recognition, and genomics.

Based on the presentation video below, it even seems 3D XPoint memory can be used to replace RAM and NAND chips by a single chip. 3D Xpoint would still be slightly slower than current DRAM, but latency is comparable, and you would not need to load data from storage to RAM, since 3D Xpoint would be both system and storage memory.

You can also read 3D XPoint presentation to find out a little more.

3D XPoint technology will sample later this year with select customers, and Intel and Micron are currently developing products based on the technology, so I assume we might start to see the first products featuring 3D XPoint memory sometimes in 2016.

Via Forbes

Categories: Hardware Tags: 3d xpoint, intel, micro