Supersnelle SSD is based on Intel’s 3D XPoint technology will arrive next year under the ‘Optane’ brand
Intel’s annual developer conference / mini trade show kicked off earlier today in San Francisco. Among the topics of discussion during the keynote was 3D XPoint, the new memory technology that Intel announced late last month.
SVP of Intel’s non-volatile memory solutions group, Rob Crooke, gave those in attendance a brief recap of the technology before introducing a new brand based on the technology called Intel Optane (not to be confused with Octane).
The first Optane products will hit the market next year in the form of high-endurance, high-performance Intel solid state drives.
When Intel introduced 3D XPoint last month, it promised the technology would deliver read speeds that are up to 1,000 times faster than today’s NAND chips. At IDF, Intel demonstrated an Optane PCIe solid state drive, pitting it against the company’s current flagship drive.
AnandTech was on hand as the Optane drive outperformed the P3700 series drive by 5.21X (401,100 IOPS versus 77,000 IOPS with a queue depth of eight). With a read queue depth of one, the 3D XPoint-based drive scored 76,600 IOPS compared to the 10,600 IOPS turned in by NAND-based SSD. Unfortunately, that was the extent of Intel’s public demo.
The chipmaker also revealed that its new class of memory technology will power a new line of Intel DIMMs for its next-generation data center platforms.
Intel launches its first 3D XPoint based Supersnelle SSD and it’s insanely fast
Intel’s new 3D XPoint SSD is the new king of enterprise Supersnelle SSD
Nearly all computers today have two types of storage; volatile primary memory, known as RAM, and non-volatile memory like a hard drive or SSD. Intel and Micron’s new 3D XPoint NVM is starting to bridge the gap between these two technologies. In 3D XPoint storage, each data cell does not need a transistor so the storage density can be up to 4 times that of standard DRAM. It offers the incredibly fast speeds and access times of DRAM, but has the capacity of traditional flash storage.
The very first product to feature this technology is a 375GB PCIe based SSD from Intel known as the Optane SSD DC P4800X. It is based on the popular NVMe standard and will retail for just over $1500. There are only limited reviews available now since Intel has been very secretive about the new drive. AnandTech and Tom’s Hardware were only allowed to access it through a remote server to Intel’s own facility.
The technology is still young so there is still ongoing improvements to the software, but preliminary performance results are very impressive. As an overall drive, it is the single fastest SSD on the market. It drops behind a few high end drives in terms of read performance, but 2.5GBPs of sustained throughput is nothing to laugh at. Where the P4800X really shines though is in latency and IOPs. It has about 10x lower latency than previous drives coming in at between 10 and 100μs. The P4800X also delivers about 550k IOPS while current drives offer half of that amount.
The new 3D XPoint drives currently don’t offer game changing capacity, but their performance definitely destroys the competition. They are the best drive available for heavy enterprise level I/O operations. Don’t expect this speed to be coming to the consumer market anytime soon though, but it’s definitely out there somewhere on the horizon.