Published: Tue, March 21, 2017
Science | By Guadalupe Butler

Intel Unveiles the New Optane SSD Series with Intel Memory Drive Technology

Intel Unveiles the New Optane SSD Series with Intel Memory Drive Technology

The company is looking to data-intensive tasks such as artificial intelligence to drive sales of processor chips and other products, and it is betting on 3D XPoint to make those products more attractive.

Intel, facing challenges in its core business making processors for personal computers and servers, hopes the new technology can expand its memory business, which reported revenue of $2.6 billion in the past year.

The solid state drive provides industry leading capabilities such as high throughput, low latency, high endurance and a high quality of service. Whereas server DRAM modules now top out at 128GB, the first P4800X drive has 375GB of capacity. Even so, the performance numbers Intel shared were notable and even startling.

The memory maker said last summer its Quantx line of SSDs also delivers read latencies at less than 10 microseconds and writes at less than 20 microseconds. Hence, the SSDs target "write-intensive applications such as online transaction processing, high performance computing, write caching and logging", the chipmaker said.

Intel will also DRAM modules along with the SSD from the year 2018. This method integrates the drive into the memory subsystem and presents the SSD in the form of DRAM to the OS and apps. As a result, organizations will be able to use Optane to create large, cost effective "pools" of shared memory to enhance application and workload performance. Intel has stated earlier that these drives will be eight times faster than the ordinary SSDs that are available in the market.

The first variety of the highly awaited SSD series is the DC P4800X, that has 375 GB of storage capacity.

So what's the key takeaway here?

"The Intel Optane SSD DC P4800X is the first product to combine the attributes of memory and storage", the firm said. The technical details the company shared, along with the comparisons with its own well-established DC3700 SSDs suggest that Optane offers notable advantages in price/performance that will attract enterprise buyers.

"Faster storage is important to computing because computing is done on data, and data is put in storage", said Robert Crooke, general manager of Intel's Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group.

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