Intel Unveils Solid-State Drive Tech To Boost Data Center Memory

Intel Unveils Solid-State Drive Tech To Boost Data Center Memory

Optane will first be available from today to select early customers as a 375GB add-in card, and during the second half of the year will also be available in 750GB, 1.5TB sized cards, and as U.2 drives. The new 3D XPoint memory device - the Intel Optane SSD P4800X - might not be available in any commercial products this year, at least not the kind that regular users would buy.

When not used for that goal, the Optane SSD becomes a new tier in the memory structure, between extremely fast RAM and non-volatile storage. The DC P4800X is an Optane SSD, and will be focused on the data centre market.

Meanwhile, Micron is targeting its SSDs based on Xpoint technology at cloud applications, data analytics, online transaction processing and the Internet of Things.

Intel claims the raw 3D XPoint technology is 1,000 times faster than the NAND flash commonly used in storage drives, though still about 1% the speed of temporary memory called DRAM, or dynamic random-access memory.

The new drives can be dropped into the server without the need for any BIOS changes for an instant performance upgrade.

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. 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.

The initial release is limited so don't expect to order one for your gaming PC, in fact putting this in your gaming PC would be doing it a disservice.

The Optane SSD DC P4800X Series has a capacity of 375 GB and can handle 30 drive writes with 12.3 petabytes written per day, according to Intel's specifications for the technology.

The feature requires using Intel's own chipset and Xeon processors, along with a middleware layer that boots before the operating system and presents DRAM and SSD resources to the operating system and applications as a single pool of memory. Moreover, a 1.5 TB PCI-E card - along with 750 GB and 1.5 TB U.2 sticks will reach the market in H2 2017.

Intel is calling its 3D XPoint SSDs Optane drives.

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