But the sales pitch for Intel (INTC) and Micron's (MU) 3D XPoint (pronounced "3D cross-point") next-gen memory revolves around the technology's ability to to provide a "middle ground" between ubiquitous DRAM and nearly-ubiquitous NAND flash memory. The performances bump these drives offer, according to Intel, will help drive AI and machine learning applications.
Intel will also DRAM modules along with the SSD from the year 2018.
The Intel company has revealed its first 3D XPoint drive, the DC P4800X.
The above can also be considered as the outcome of Intel's association with Micron that had yielded the 3D XPoint Memory back in July of 2015.
In other words, the DC P4800X appears to fulfill Intel's claims about its value as a notably fast storage solution but how about its applicability in caching scenarios? Where NAND-based SSDs are often measured at a queue depth of 32 (SATA) or 128 (NVMe*) in order to showcase maximum throughput, the DC P4800X can reach as much as 500,000 IOPS, or ~2GB/s, at a queue depth of 11.1 This new technology is perfectly suited to accelerate enterprise applications to new, breakthrough levels of performance. It is aimed at data center customers and could deliver most improvement when used for caching and database workloads.
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.
Intel argues that current storage approaches based on DRAM and NAND are contributing to the current datacenter storage gap, and that storage platform increasingly need to behave "like system memory".
So what's the key takeaway here?
In all, Intel's $1520 375GB drive offers a combination of high throughput, low latency and high QoS, while being built to endure and alleviate the bottlenecks data centres now face.
That should result in Intel's solutions being deployed in a variety of fast storage and cost effective pooled memory scenarios. That depends on whether Intel is successful in ramping production to meet commercial demand, a process that can be replete with unpleasant events and unpleasant delays.