In­tel’s su­per-fast Op­tane mem­ory and stor­age will reach en­thu­si­ast PCs first

Next year, en­thu­si­ast desk­tops could get the fastest SSDs ever

Tech Advisor - - NEWS - CHRIS MARTIN

In­tel’s Op­tane prod­ucts, which prom­ise much faster SSDs and mem­ory, will reach en­thu­si­ast PCs in 2016, then spread to other desk­tops and mo­bile prod­ucts.

The news, bound to de­light gamers in par­tic­u­lar, came from Kirk Skau­gen, se­nior vice pres­i­dent and gen­eral man­ager of the Client Com­put­ing Group (CCG) at In­tel, dur­ing the com­pany’s re­cent an­nual in­vestor con­fer­ence.

Op­tane is the brand name for a new class of mem­ory and stor­age based on a rev­o­lu­tion­ary tech­nol­ogy called 3D XPoint (pic­tured). 3D XPoint mem­ory me­dia can be 10 times denser than DRAM, and 1,000 times faster and durable than flash stor­age. Op­tane was de­vel­oped jointly by In­tel and Mi­cron.

In 2016, In­tel is also set to release Op­tane solid-state drives and other 3D XPoint mem­ory me­dia prod­ucts for servers based on the Sky­lake ar­chi­tec­ture. The first Op­tane prod­ucts are ex­pected to be SSDs and mem­ory DIMMs that plug into mem­ory slots.

En­thu­si­ast desk­top users in­clude gamers, who are typ­i­cally among the early adopters of new tech­nol­ogy. Gamers may see im­me­di­ate ben­e­fits of the faster stor­age and mem­ory with Op­tane prod­ucts.

In­tel has demon­strated Op­tane stor­age op­er­at­ing at ap­prox­i­mately seven times faster than its cur­rent SSDs. The un­der­ly­ing 3D XPoint tech­nol­ogy breaks the bot­tle­necks af­fect­ing cur­rent mem­ory and stor­age tech­nol­ogy. In­tel has said Op­tane is the most sig­nif­i­cant mem­ory and stor­age tech­nol­ogy since NAND flash was fist in­tro­duced 25 years ago.

The 3D XPoint tech­nol­ogy is based on tech­nol­ogy in which mem­ory cells sit in a three-di­men­sional mesh. The struc­ture en­sures data can be writ­ten in small sizes and faster read and write speeds.

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