INTEL HAS REVEALED the second-generation of its Optane memory for both data centre use and SSDs; it also has a 144-layer QLX 3D NAND for data centre SSDs in the works as well.
Codenamed Barlow Pass, the Optane DC Persistent Memory effectively bridges the gap between SSDs and RAM-based memory, offering faster speeds than the former, but not as costly as the latter when used as in-memory storage.
Alder Stream is the codename for the next-gen Optane SSDs, with these new storage devices offering some 50 per cent improved performance over the first-generation P4800X Optane drive. This is thanks to a new controller, while storage capacity will be improved and latency will be reduced.
As for the 3D NAND SSD, that's set to come in a 96-layer version this year, with a 144 layer model due in 2020; both of these will be for data centre use, so don't go expecting to be sticking them in a desktop PC any time soon.
If you're scratching your head wondering why all this matters, Intel has the skinny on the situation: "Massive amounts of data being generated by machines generally require real-time analysis to make that data valuable. This need has exposed gaps in the memory storage hierarchy: DRAM isn't large enough, and SSDs aren't fast enough," it swooned.
"The gap is where Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory shines. And if even bigger data sets are needed, Intel Optane technology connected through storage interfaces fills the gap," the chip maker added. "Additionally, hard disk drives increasingly aren't fast enough for data-centric computing - that's where the combination of Intel Optane technology plus QLC NAND comes into play."
While all this tech is data centre-centric, there's a chance that the gains in memory could eventually filter down into the PC world, perhaps starting with faster Optane SSDs for desktops and ending with Optane-based chips for improving the storage and data-juggling performance of laptops and hybrid 2-in-1 devices. µ
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