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Intel Boots Drives with 3D XPoint

Optane prices debut at 3x NAND SSDs
3/19/2017 12:01 PM EDT
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realjjj
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...
realjjj   3/19/2017 2:55:01 PM
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No overprovisioning yet the drive uses 448GB (28x16) but only 375GB usable...

The pricing is not reasonable nor expected. Last year DRAM was 3$/GB and Xpoint was supposed to be substantially cheaper not 4$/GB. Likely they don't have the production capacity to sell much this year so we'll see where things settle in 2018-2019.

witeken
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Re: ...
witeken   3/19/2017 5:22:05 PM
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Not trying to be personal, but I'm reading a lot negative, imo short sighted comments. Intel has spent probably a ton of money developing this technology, and have yet to see any revenue, so of course the initial costs will be high with low volumes. But of course the costs will fall nicely as this technology matures and the volume goes up with the economies of scale benefits.

Secondly, DRAM progress has basically come to a stand still, while Intel already has 3 generation of 3DXP in the pipline. They can achieve higher bit density and thus cost with three vectors: smalles geometries (and associated scaling beneifts like possibly performance, latency and endurance), more layers (now 2, although not as scalable as 3D NAND), and more bits per cell.

So this technology has a lot of long-term potential. Of course one shouldn't expect a revolution overnight, but this technology is really promising certainly given the general trends in high-performance computing we're seeing.

resistion
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Doesn't look like SCM
resistion   3/20/2017 2:59:48 AM
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A key thing missing here is the storage or retention spec, which should go with any SSD. It doesn't matter how much capacity you have if it disappears while writing.

resistion
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Re: ...XPoint scalability
resistion   3/20/2017 3:15:48 AM
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I would be interested to see the scaling path for 3D XPoint.

The trouble with this version of 3D (as opposed to 3D-NAND) is that adding more layers adds more cost proportionally, so cost/bit saturates. The mature, higher-voltage underlying CMOS should be relatively cheap.

As I understand it is already at the same design rule as DRAM (and in fact NAND) ~20 nm. Whether it can scale lower, could depend on what factors could disturb the cells, e.g., thermal. Also the lines connecting the cells get more resistive, which hinders the reading.

MLC/TLC would be the best or most practical hope. But this requires a mature enough (resistive) memory, and this would also slow down the writing.

The retention is the key for any power savings to be realized. But it is not highlighted, which has me worried for this release..

rick merritt
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Re: Doesn't look like SCM
rick merritt   3/20/2017 11:08:13 AM
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@resistion If you can you be more specific about what retention spec you are looking for, in what units I can see if I can get it.

BTW, good questions on the 3DXP roadmap. However, I am certain they are ones Intel will not answer at this point, though they did say they have the next two generations in development.

elizabethsimon
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Re: Doesn't look like SCM
elizabethsimon   3/20/2017 11:50:27 AM
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The retention spec I'm interested in is how long the data is retained when powered off after being written. I'd prefer numbers in months or years...

If that's not practical, a spec on how long the data is retained when powered up and not refreshed...

As @resistion said, this is critical information to reduce power consumption.

resistion
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Re: Doesn't look like SCM
resistion   3/20/2017 12:03:05 PM
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Basically, how long the data is guaranteed at a specified temperature. More impressive if higher than room temperature of course.

geekmaster
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10,000 wpm?
geekmaster   3/20/2017 5:54:03 PM
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Rick! How do you know that "The fab is currently running less than 10,000 3D XPoint wafers/month"? Also: do they also run 3D NAND?

 

rick merritt
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Re: Doesn't look like SCM
rick merritt   3/21/2017 2:27:45 AM
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@resistion and @elizabethsimon: All the specs Intel is providing are now here:

https://www-ssl.intel.com/content/www/us/en/solid-state-drives/data-center-family.html

Not enough?

rick merritt
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Re: 10,000 wpm?
rick merritt   3/21/2017 2:28:49 AM
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@geekmaster: Al Fazio told me the Lehi fab running 3D NAND is now running single-digit 3DXP wafers

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