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Intel Optane Mem storage



Intel 3D XPoint technology

HDD and SSD markets be damned, Optane memory here we come. So apparently there's a new type of storage that is projected to be in great competition with HDD and SSD. Although we already see HDD making it's exit, the fact that you can store so much Data on those disks make them oh so appealing ( not to mention the price ).

with Intel 3D Xpoint™ technology newer storage hardware will be up to 1000x faster than NAND with an individual die holding about 128GB of data. NAND of course is primarily used in memory cards, USB's, SSD etc. Of course one of the reasons we love NAND flash so much is it's non-volatility which means it needs not to be continuously powered to retain data.  3D Xpoint ( Three Dimensional Cross Point) will also be non volatile.


http://image.slidesharecdn.com/cassandrasummit2015-intel-santaclara-150930215714-lva1-app6891/95/intel-and-datastax-3d-xpoint-and-nvme-technology-cassandra-storage-comparison-6-638.jpg?cb=1443663720
Deliciously low latency

As stated above it is a low latency and high performance type of memory and if you've messed around with CAS latency you know that's a good thing. As of now NAND latency is measured in tens of microseconds ( 10^-6 ), 3D XPoint is measured in tens of nano seconds ( 10^-9). What a milli-leap. (ba dum tsss)


10x Denser Than Conventional Memory
I could name a couple of politicians that dense.

So here's whats kind of crazy for me. And partially why I have one of the biggest hardons for Intel. Their engineers said "Transistors? what are those" and basically designed this memory without transistors. When you factor in the actual physicality of the memory it makes sense






https://thestack.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/3dxpointslide2.jpg
3 dimensional stacked columns and rows is how the memory and stored and by varying the voltage on the selectors that encapsulate that memory address you can modify the value stored within. Pretty neat huh?







Lifetime

The lifetime of this memory too is pretty great. It's not dependent on the read and write cycles of the drive itself unlike other forms of memory (Staring right at you NAND). So this means more durability in the long run which is good. If you've ever had a hard drive or SSD die on you then you're probably mega excited for this new form of storage.

As far as lifetime of a drive for me personally, I've never had my HDD or SSD die on me. I suppose if you're gracious with your fragmentation clearing and TRIMing with your HDD and SSD respectively they'll last you quite a while. It'll be interesting to see how it's handled with Optane.




Practicality and Application

For extended storage, our collective minds were blown by SSD speeds. And I do believe they'll be blown again with Optane speeds. However, I think where we'll be most interested is in the application of RAM. In computational technology we're cutting out more middle men as we go. In earlier times we needed our graphics card to go through a bus which then goes to the CPU and same with RAM. But now with NVLink and Optane memory our computers are getting much much faster about talking to itself. Of course the physical technology is getting faster, transistors are getting smaller, memory storage is getting bigger. But what stands out to me is cutting out the intermediary communications, and THAT'S what is pushing us forward. Maybe eventually we'll have whole computer built into one chip.

And like always here's a video to supplement all your reading: