Intel revolutionizing memory and storage with Optane

Intel OptaneIntel Optane technology provides an unparalleled combination of high throughput, high endurance, high quality of service and low latency.   It uses a new memory storage technology called 3D XPoint which is jointly developed by Intel and Micron Technology Inc.  

With the combination of Intel Optane memory and a hard disk drive[HDD], we can experience SSD like performance with mega storage capacity. Intel claims that we get up to 5.8x faster email launch, up to 5x faster browser launch, up to 67% faster game launch.

A time line of memory class introductions

1947 – RAM

1956 – PROM

1961 – SRAM

1966 – DRAM

1971 – EPROM

1984 – NOR Flash Memory

1989 – NAND Flash Memory

2015 – 3D XPoint

After 25 years after the previous breakthrough i.e. NAND Flash memory. In 2015, we got the 3D Xpoint technology.  The 3D XPoint innovative, transistor-less cross point architecture creates a three-dimensional checkerboard where memory cells sit at the intersection of words lines and bit lines, allowing the cells to be addressed individually. As a result, data can be written and read in small sizes, leading to fast and efficient read/write processes.

Intel said that its products driven by 3D XPoint technology are up to 1000x faster than NAND, up to 1000x endurance than NAND, up to 10x denser than DRAM.

The below are the base requriements to run Intel Optane memory

  • 7th Generation (or newer) Intel® Core™ Processor
  • Intel® 200 Series Chipset (or newer)
  • Intel Optane memory ready UEFI BIOS. Legacy BIOS mode is not supported
  • Windows® 10 x64
  • Intel Rapid Storage Technology 15.5 or newer driver1
  • Drive to be accelerated2:
    • SATA-based boot drive3
    • GPT Partition table
    • 5MB available at the end of disk

Also remember, you cannot plug Optane memory into a SATA port, it is only available in M.2 form only.

Source: Micron 3D XPoint technologyIntel Optane