Presenting at the united statesGlobal Know-how Convention as we speak, Navin Shenoy, Intel Government Vice President and Common Supervisor of their Information Middle Group, shared an replace on Intel's roadmap for 3D XPoint DIMMs. Intel claims that they’re on observe to launch 3D XPoint reminiscence modules within the second half of 2018. They’re projecting that 3D XPoint DIMMs might be an $8B market by 2021.
After launching a number of Optane SSD merchandise this yr primarily based on 3D XPoint reminiscence, Intel had stated virtually nothing about their progress towards 3D XPoint DIMM reminiscence modules. Intel first publicly confirmed a prototype 3D XPoint NVDIMM in January 2016, just a few months after unveiling 3D XPoint reminiscence itself. When the primary Optane merchandise launched earlier this yr, we had been instructed Intel would have extra to say with reference to 3D XPoint DIMMs in 2018, however as we speak's announcement makes it clear they are going to be promoting the precise inside a few yr.
The launch of 3D XPoint DIMMs will rely upon a number of items coming collectively. First, Intel's 3D XPoint reminiscence have to be sufficiently mature to satisfy the efficiency and endurance necessities of DIMM-based utilization. Their Optane SSDs have all used a PCIe and NVMe interface that provides substantial latency overhead and makes it tough to evaluate how shut the underlying 3D XPoint reminiscence can come to DRAM efficiency ranges. The Optane SSDs are additionally delivery with comparatively conservative write endurance rankings relative to the eventual expectations for 3D XPoint merchandise: The Optane SSD DC P4800X's 30 drive writes per day for five years will not be considerably greater than high-endurance flash-based enterprise SSDs can present.
Second, Intel might want to proceed growing manufacturing of 3D XPoint reminiscence as their household of Optane SSDs expands and is joined by 3D XPoint DIMMs. Yesterday, Intel and Micron celebrated the completion of an growth to constructing 60 of their IM Flash manufacturing amenities in Lehi, Utah. This may considerably enhance their manufacturing capability of 3D XPoint reminiscence. Up to now, Intel appears to have been utilizing virtually the entire manufacturing of 3D XPoint reminiscence for his or her Optane merchandise whereas Micron has but to publicly introduce any mass-produced 3D XPoint-based merchandise. Micron will almost definitely begin saying and delivery 3D XPoint merchandise beneath their QuantX model throughout the subsequent yr, so Intel gained't be getting the complete good thing about this capability increase.
Third, 3D XPoint DIMMs would require server platform assist as a result of they’re unlikely to function as commonplace DDR4 DIMMs. The JEDEC NVDIMM-P commonplace for persistent reminiscence DIMMs has not been finalized and is anticipated subsequent yr. It's not sure whether or not the 3D XPoint DIMMs will adhere to the NVDIMM-P commonplace or if they may use a proprietary interface, however both means they’re more likely to require up to date CPU and motherboard assist. Intel's recently-launched Xeon Scalable platform can assist DRAM+flash NVDIMM-N modules. The launch subsequent yr of 3D XPoint DIMMs could foretell a simultaneous refresh of the Xeon Scalable platform.