Intel's first 3D XPoint SSD will have 6GB/s bandwidth

Intel logoIt's a known fact that 3D XPoint aims at revolutionizing the performance of solid-state drives; it becomes clear that it won't happen overnight, and the reason for that is quite simple: current interface limitations.

Developed jointly between Intel and Micron Technology, the new type of non-volatile memory is meant to change the landscape on how memory is meant to be built and how fast it can store data. Optane, the first SSD that works on 3D XPoint, will be used to store hot data in servers or data storing centers, a reason why these high-bandwidth, low-latency drives with high IPOS (input/output operations per second) are developed in the first place.

Intel's first Octane solid-state drives feature 3D XPoint memory and will use the PCI Express 3.0 or DDR4 interfaces, and will come in the shape of a PCI2 card or DIMM form factors.

Right now PCI Express 3.0 x4 cards are compatible with most servers and can offer a bandwidth of 4GB/s. NVDIMMs (non-volatile DIMMs) are offering even higher bandwidth with ultra-low latency since they are used as system memories in various applications. This way Intel wants to use the DDR4 powerful slot to ensure the maximum transfer speeds and bandwidth available in a system, for data storing.

Intel's first 3D XPoint SSD will have 6GB/s bandwidth

Intel's future “Broadwell-EP” processors will support PC4-19200 (DDR4 2400MHz) memories, offering up to 19.2GB/s of bandwidth. This will give you a rough idea of how fast the 3D XPoint will work on future server systems. Although at IDF 2015 this month Intel officially unveiled that 3D XPoint NVDIMMs would offer around 6GB/s of bandwidth, in fact the new SSD bandwidth will be much higher, more than twice the disclosed number.

It's very possible that Intel did not disclose the final bandwidth number because it still has to work with JEDEC over how the company will be able to set a new standard in server system and ensure compatibility between SSDs and platforms. Since the DDR4 interface can handle extreme speeds, it's very important that Intel has to establish new standards by the book, keeping in mind the limits imposed by JEDEC.

According to KitGuru, it's very likely that if Intel and Micron do manage to impose this new standard among data centers and serves, a new arms race will begin among competitors to build similar system in order to stay competitive in business-to-business data applications.

Source: Softpedia

Tags: Intel, SSD

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