By unifying memory and storage into a single component, Intel recently uncovered what we deem to be the Holy Grail of universal memory. Their ground-breaking 3D XPoint technology is set to be a major disruption to storage as we know it, promising to be denser than any DRAM, and faster and better performing than any solid state drive (SSD) available on the market today.
It may be a while until we see 3D XPoint going mainstream, however, as it is not yet available for public consumption and we don’t anticipate it will be any time soon. Yet there is the possibility of a great start to the year, thanks to Intel and memory technology leader Micron, as they’ve recently started bringing 3D XPoint’s ‘Optane’ SSDs to consumer-grade PCs.
What we can expect from the Optane drives:
- Both a 16GB and 32GB version
- Two PCle 3.0 lanes that exchange data
- 4GB/s 128KP read and 300 MB/s write performance (16GB)
- 6GB/s read and 500MB/s write performance (32GB)
We’ve also already been blown away by the Optane’s speedy capability after Intel released a demo of it in late 2016, when they tested its ability to copy files at an astonishing 1.94 GB per second!
It doesn’t come without its limitations, though, as Intel continues its push to ensure users are upgrading to their more recent releases. The Optane drives will only be compatible with Intel’s new Kaby Lake processors and their latest CPUs. In fact, it’s very possible that the next-gen Macbook Pro will come with built-in Optane SSDs. It’s likely that Optane will ship within the second quarter of 2017 – definitely something to look forward to this year.
We’re really excited about this release, as whilst it’s consumer-focused at this stage, it demonstrates the promise of the technology and that Intel has begun to trickle-down Optane into market-available machines. Naturally, we will be keeping our customers closely informed on Intel 3D XPoint and how it might feature in G2’s future products.
If you would like to know more about the storage and memory technologies used in our products today, please get in touch.