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Intel and Micron announce 3D XPoint Memory - 1000x Faster Than NAND

Intel and Micron announce 3D XPoint Memory - 1000x Faster Than NAND

Intel and Micron announce 3D XPoint Memory - 1000x Faster Than NAND

Intel and Micron announce 3D XPoint Memory - 1000x Faster Than NAND

 

Intel Corporation and Micron Technology, Inc. today unveiled 3D XPoint™ technology, a non-volatile memory that has the potential to revolutionize any device, application or service that benefits from fast access to large sets of data. Now in production, 3D XPoint technology is a major breakthrough in memory process technology and the first new memory category since the introduction of NAND flash in 1989.

 

Intel and Micron announce 3D XPoint Memory - 1000x Faster Than NAND

 

The explosion of connected devices and digital services is generating massive amounts of new data. To make this data useful, it must be stored and analyzed very quickly, creating challenges for service providers and system builders who must balance cost, power and performance trade-offs when they design memory and storage solutions. 3D XPoint technology combines the performance, density, power, non-volatility and cost advantages of all available memory technologies on the market today. The technology is up to 1,000 times faster and has up to 1,000 times greater endurance3 than NAND, and is 10 times denser than conventional memory.

 

“For decades, the industry has searched for ways to reduce the lag time between the processor and data to allow much faster analysis,” said Rob Crooke, senior vice president and general manager of Intel’s Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group. “This new class of non-volatile memory achieves this goal and brings game-changing performance to memory and storage solutions.”

“One of the most significant hurdles in modern computing is the time it takes the processor to reach data on long-term storage,” said Mark Adams, president of Micron. “This new class of non-volatile memory is a revolutionary technology that allows for quick access to enormous data sets and enables entirely new applications.

 

As the digital world quickly grows – from 4.4 zettabytes of digital data created in 2013 to an expected 44 zettabytes by 20204 – 3D XPoint technology can turn this immense amount of data into valuable information in nanoseconds. For example, retailers may use 3D XPoint technology to more quickly identify fraud detection patterns in financial transactions; healthcare researchers could process and analyze larger data sets in real time, accelerating complex tasks such as genetic analysis and disease tracking.

The performance benefits of 3D XPoint technology could also enhance the PC experience, allowing consumers to enjoy faster interactive social media and collaboration as well as more immersive gaming experiences. The non-volatile nature of the technology also makes it a great choice for a variety of low-latency storage applications since data is not erased when the device is powered off.

 

Intel and Micron announce 3D XPoint Memory - 1000x Faster Than NAND 

 

New Recipe, Architecture for Breakthrough Memory Technology

Following more than a decade of research and development, 3D XPoint technology was built from the ground up to address the need for non-volatile, high-performance, high-endurance and high-capacity storage and memory at an affordable cost. It ushers in a new class of non-volatile memory that significantly reduces latencies, allowing much more data to be stored close to the processor and accessed at speeds previously impossible for non-volatile storage.

The innovative, transistor-less cross point architecture creates a three-dimensional checkerboard where memory cells sit at the intersection of word lines and bit lines, allowing the cells to be addressed individually. As a result, data can be written and read in small sizes, leading to faster and more efficient read/write processes.

 

Intel and Micron announce 3D XPoint Memory - 1000x Faster Than NAND 

 

More details about 3D XPoint technology include:

  • - Cross Point Array Structure – Perpendicular conductors connect 128 billion densely packed memory cells. Each memory cell stores a single bit of data. This compact structure results in high performance and high-density bits.
  • - Stackable – In addition to the tight cross point array structure, memory cells are stacked in multiple layers. The initial technology stores 128Gb per die across two memory layers. Future generations of this technology can increase the number of memory layers, in addition to traditional lithographic pitch scaling, further improving system capacities.
  • - Selector – Memory cells are accessed and written or read by varying the amount of voltage sent to each selector. This eliminates the need for transistors, increasing capacity while reducing cost.
  • - Fast Switching Cell – With a small cell size, fast switching selector, low-latency cross point array and fast write algorithm, the cell is able to switch states faster than any existing non-volatile memory technology today.

3D XPoint technology will sample later this year with select customers, and Intel and Micron are developing individual products based on the technology.

  

Intel and Micron announce 3D XPoint Memory - 1000x Faster Than NAND

 

My Thoughts

When it comes to SSDs we know that NAND memory has it's own advantages and disadvantages, yes it is fast, but when compared to DRAM it simply doesn't compete in terms of speed, however DRAM have it's own disadvantages, it is volatile, which means that it loses all of it's stored data when powered off and it is a lot more expensive than NAND when it comes to cost/GB.

Intel and Micron have just announced 3D XPoint memory, a whole new memory architecture that is seemingly the best of both worlds, if not better, with 10x the storage density of DRAM and over 1000x the speed and 1000x the endurance of NAND. 

This opens up a wide range of possibilities, like using XPoint memory as a CPUs memory pool and a PCs storage space at the same time or simply creating a Storage drive with RAMDISK like speeds without the volatility.

Manufacturing costs for this new type of memory is going to be between that of traditional NAND and DRAM chips. Remember that today DDR3 DRAM chips are over 10x the price of NAND chips per GB, so NAND still has the price/ capacity lead by a significant margin.

With storage capable memory that is this fast on the horizon, it is unsurprising that Intel have been trying so hard to get others to adopt the ultra fast NVMe standard, as simply put 3D XPoint memory will need all of the speed that the NVMe standard can provide. 

 

You can join the discussion on Intel and Micron's Ultra fast 3D XPoint Memory on the OC3D Forums

    

 

Intel and Micron announce 3D XPoint memory which is up to 1000x faster than NAND.

Posted by OC3D on Wednesday, 29 July 2015
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Most Recent Comments

29-07-2015, 05:42:10

Chopper3
Presumably for best performance this will need to be accessed directly via QPI/DMI rather than via PCIe or similar? - you'd be throwing away the benefits going over a slower bus such as NVMe

I'm reasonably sure this'll need a new CPU generation to support it, is that a good assumption?

What CPU generation will this work with, when will it be released and do we know if it will it be introduced on the consumer (i3/5/7) range or the professional (Xeon) range first?

When they say '1000 x faster' do we know if that is that across the board, i.e. is latency reduced equally?

Do we know what sizes these initial units will come in? They mention 128GB blocks but will they be shipping JUST 128GB devices or 'multiples'?

Thanks a ever TTL!Quote

29-07-2015, 06:09:10

WYP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chopper3 View Post
Presumably for best performance this will need to be accessed directly via QPI/DMI rather than via PCIe or similar? - you'd be throwing away the benefits going over a slower bus such as NVMe

I'm reasonably sure this'll need a new CPU generation to support it, is that a good assumption?

What CPU generation will this work with, when will it be released and do we know if it will it be introduced on the consumer (i3/5/7) range or the professional (Xeon) range first?

When they say '1000 x faster' do we know if that is that across the board, i.e. is latency reduced equally?

Do we know what sizes these initial units will come in? They mention 128GB blocks but will they be shipping JUST 128GB devices or 'multiples'?

Thanks a ever TTL!
Yes it would need a new CPU to support using this as a directly linked memory pool, like DRAM, which is not even on the next generation of server chips from Intel.

It will likely be seen first in a super fast NVMe SSD, or perhaps on mobile devices as a cheaper alternative to DRAM.

Production will be in low quantities at first, meaning that we will not be seeing much of this for a few years.

In terms of speed and latency it is much faster than NAND in almost every way, but seems to not be quite as fast as modern DDR4, though this memory is non-volatile.

This new memory will be great for supercomputing and as ultra fast storage, as it can pack higher capacity than DRAM and is much faster than SSDs. On the consumer side it will take ages to see this outside of the crazy high end.Quote

07-08-2015, 02:54:58

NeverBackDown
Can't believe I missed this news report!

This is some very amazing news and quiet a leap in memory architecture. Though I agree that we won't be seeing these for a long long time. I'd say 2020ish is when these start to become relevant in terms price/GB and actual uses such as replacing DRAM or at the very least plans to do so. It'll probably come to storage and mobile first. Think PCs will be last.Quote
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