Intel And Micron Reveal ‘Revolutionary’ 3D XPoint Memory Technology

Data powerhouses are calling 3D XPoint the latest category of memory since NAND was introduced in 1989

Intel and Micron are set to release a ‘revolutionary’ new memory and storage product called 3D XPoint.

Both firms are calling the technology a major breakthrough in memory process technology, and it is the first new memory category since the introduction of NAND flash in 1989, according to Intel.

“It’s high performance, and can be very dense, said Robert Crooke, senior vice president of Intel’s non-volatile memory solutions business. “It allows us to do things that we haven’t been able to do before.”

Products containing the XPoint technology (pronounced Crosspoint) will be rolled out through 2016, Intel said.

New characteristics

intelThe new class of memory will bring a “new set of characteristics” to the storage marketplace, said the firm at the announcement. The technology is up to 1,000 times faster and has up to 1,000 times greater endurance than NAND, and is 10 times denser than conventional memory, reckons Intel.

“This is something many people thought was impossible,” said Crooke. “The technology is fundamentally different to NAND technology.”

XPoint is one of the results of a decade-long partnership between Intel and Micron.

Intel said that one of the most exciting things about the announcement is the simple fact that the technology is so powerful, it is unpredictable what people will be able to use it for.

“We’re excited. But what can we do with the technology?” said Crooke.

The material inside of the technology, a form of resisting RAM that can change resistance, is Intel and Micron proprietary material, meaning other vendors won’t get a look in.

Intel didn’t reveal any products today, but said the technology will feature in both memory and storage products.

“For decades, the industry has searched for ways to reduce the lag time between the processor and data to allow much faster analysis,” Crooke said. “This new class of non-volatile memory achieves this goal and brings game-changing performance to memory and storage solutions.”

Both firms have before worked together on producing 3D NAND chips, shown off earlier in the year. The use of floating gate cells makes them up to three times more powerful than regular NAND chips, lowering the power consumption used in mobile devices.

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