SAN JOSE, Calif.—Facebook said it hopes to use Intel’s emerging 3D XPoint memories in its data centers. Meanwhile Google joined its archrival’s open hardware efforts to drive standards ranging from high-power compute racks to giant form factors for disk drives.
The two moves were likely the highest impact announcements at the annual event of the Facebook-led Open Compute Project (OCP) here. Among other news, Intel showed a new 16-core Xeon SoC with dual 10G Ethernet controllers and a prototype chip merging Xeon with an Arria FPGA in a single package.
Facebook’s support for the 3D XPoint non-volatile memories being co-developed by Intel and Micron is “a huge endorsement,” said Nathan Brookwood, principal of market watcher Insight64 (Saratoga, Calif.).
Jay Parikh, head of engineering and infrastructure at Facebook, said the Web giant wants to use the chips as a new tier in its storage hierarchy. However, he did not say whether Facebook will use the chips in servers, storage arrays or both, nor did he show any designs for 3D XPoint. At least one Facebook engineer said he has seen working 3D XPoint samples.
“We're excited about what Intel is doing with 3-D Xpoint…We can think about our storage problems with more tiers for performance, capacity or price…We're working on what this [3D XPoint] technology can be in our building blocks,” Parikh told an audience of several hundred engineers.
Facebook has started work on a new open-source software project called MyRocks, an extension of RocksDB aimed at managing data across flash and disk tiers. “It’s a nice proof point for slotting in another tier or member of the hierarchy,” such as 3D XPoint, said Parikh.
The chips come at a time when both hard disks and solid-state drives (SSDs) are packing more capacity but not making significant strides in reliability, endurance or latency, he added. Nevertheless one of the stars of the event was Lightning, a two-tray pool of 30 to 60 SSDs riding PCI Express.
Next Page: Google collaborates with Facebook
Table of Contents Page 1: Google joins open hardware effort
Page 2: Google collaborates with Facebook
Page 3: Intel shows 16-core Xeon SoC
Page 4: Microsoft kick starts SDN
Page 5: Lightning strikes in storage array
Page 6: Switch shifts up to 100G
Page 7: Peering into the future of fiber
Page 8: Telcos collaborate with Facebook
Page 9: Mellanox plays digital media
Page 10: Microsoft plugs in FPGAs
Page 11: Blu-ray plunges into cold storage