Intel Rolls Out First Optane SSD with 3D XPoint Technology

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Intel Rolls Out First Optane SSD with 3D XPoint Technology

Intel Optane SSD DC P4800X is connected to a server via PCIe and can serve as an ultra-fast storage tier or an extended memory device.

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 also offers much higher endurance than comparable SSDs, having been rated for 30 drive writes per day, for three years.

Intel's introduction of its new Optane SSD DC P4800X Series offerings is both interesting and a bit controversial. Intel believes that this new storage technology will drive new solutions with applications such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, faster trading, and deeper insights into medical scans.

In July 2015, Intel announced a new memory technology called 3D XPoint, and asserted that it would be 1,000 times faster than traditional NAND flash at the architectural level.

3D XPoint's latency is still 10 times that of DRAM, but for many applications this is more than offset by the fact that the memory is far denser and cheaper, and (like NAND, but unlike DRAM) retains its data when power is lost.

The latest Optane series can help data centers deliver new solutions in cloud computing and other cutting-edge service areas. Intel said it expects the cost structure to be closer to that of NAND than of DRAM. The drive is created to seamlessly integrate into the memory subsystems and presents itself as DRAM to the operating system.

Intel in collaboration with the Micron has designed a new technology dubbed 3D Xpoint. It will be available in limited quantities, priced at $1,520 (approximately Rs. 99,384).

With the first Optane products now shipping, Intel is playing up the technology's high responsiveness, with a latency much lower than that of the NAND flash, upon which most SSDs are currently based.

"It blurs the line between system memory and storage", said Diane Bryant, an executive vice president who oversees Intel's Data Center Group.

Intel is also planning to release 750GB and 1.5TB PCIe models, as well as 375GB, 750GB and 1.5TB U.2 parts over the course of this year. The drive series is available now for $1,520 through an early ship program.

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