Intel and Micron have a new way to store data that they say is up to 1,000 times faster than NAND flash memory, the most popular non-volatile memory in the marketplace today.
The new 3D XPoint™ technology is the first new memory category since the introduction of NAND flash in 1989.
Not only is the memory up to 1,000 times faster than NAND, but Intel also claim that it has 1,000 times greater endurance, meaning the data will last much longer than if stored on flash memory, and it is 10 times denser, so 10 times more data could be stored within the same space.
“For decades, the industry has searched for ways to reduce the lag time between the processor and data to allow much faster analysis,” said Rob Crooke, senior vice president and general manager of Intel’s Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group. “This new class of non-volatile memory achieves this goal and brings game-changing performance to memory and storage solutions.”
An individual die can store 128Gb (16 gigabytes) of data, however, much like with flash memory, several dies can be used together within a single device.
“3D XPoint technology combines the performance, density, power, non-volatility and cost advantages of all available memory technologies on the market today.” say Intel in their press release.
This technology can result in advances in several other fields as well, “retailers may use 3D XPoint technology to more quickly identify fraud detection patterns in financial transactions; healthcare researchers could process and analyze larger data sets in real time, accelerating complex tasks such as genetic analysis and disease tracking.”
While these industries may be first to use the technology, Intel also mentions that the technology could allow consumers to enjoy faster interactive social media and collaboration, as well as more immersive 8k gaming experiences.
3D XPoint could improve almost all electrical technology used today including phones, computers, smartwatches and even our cars.
“3D XPoint technology was built from the ground up to address the need for non-volatile, high-performance, high-endurance and high-capacity storage and memory at an affordable cost. It ushers in a new class of non-volatile memory that significantly reduces latencies, allowing much more data to be stored close to the processor and accessed at speeds previously impossible for non-volatile storage.
The innovative, transistor-less cross point architecture creates a three-dimensional checkerboard where memory cells sit at the intersection of word 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 faster and more efficient read/write processes.”