Intel & Micron come up with memory storage 1000 times faster than flash storage!
The memory storage called 3D XPoint is usable in memory cards and SSDs.
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Together Intel and Micron have invented a new memory device called the 3D XPoint. The 3D XPoint is being addressed as an innovative breakthrough. The memory chip will be 1000 times faster than the Nand flash storage and will be mass produced soon. The 3D XPoint will be used in memory cards and the SSDs (computers' solid state drives).
Intel is marketing 3D XPoint as the first new class of a mainstream memory device by the company since 1989. Faster storage will allow cloud services to handle large files more efficiently. The new technology will be more favored by gamers and game developers. Gamers and game developers are currently restricted by low amount of RAM processor storage.
According to Intel and Micron a wide variety of benefits can be availed from the technology. Making elaborate video games and helping in speeding up the research processes will be easier with 3D XPoint. Especially ‘big data’ tasks can be executed using the 3D XPoint. For example sequencing and analysing genes and DNA for medicinal research.
Industry experts are describing the breakthrough as a ‘huge step forward’. Many companies have been claiming they are about to come up with new type of faster and bigger memory technologies. Yet only the 3D XPoint is manufacturing ready at this point.
3D XPoint will be mass produced at a facility in Utah, co-owned by both Intel and Micron. According to plan the first products featuring the 3D XPoint will be available for sale by next year. Intel and Micron have already spent a decade properly researching 3D XPoint. For 10 years Intel and Micron researched 3D XPoint before starting the mass production. Now they believe the technology is ready to be introduced into the market.
3D Xpoint™ technology wafers are currently running in production lines at Intel Micron Flash Technologies fab
3D XPoint will not be replacing flash storage or RAM. 3D XPoint will be used alongside both flash and RAM, so certain data is closer to the processing system. In such a way the data will be easier and quicker to access than before.
3D XPoint will have a ‘persistent memory’ meaning it will keep the memory stored even if the power goes out. The 'Persistent memory' is innovation in itself, unlike the present memory systems such as RAM. The new 3D XPoint technology is non-volatile so it will not forget memory already present in it.
The name 3D XPoint came from the 3D structure of the new memory technology featuring layers of wires. On each layer the wires are situated at the right angle and parallel to each other. Between the layers, sub-microscopic columns are present, connecting the points where the wires criss-cross. The vertical columns contain a memory cell and a selector.
Each memory cell of the 3D XPoint works individually. Each cell speeds up the process in contrast to the flash storage, as flash storage works with a main transistor. 3D XPoint also lasts longer than the flash memory technology. 3D XPoint takes hundred times more before becoming exhausted when compared to flash memory.
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3D XPoint will be more expensive than the flash memory technology. But it will be cheaper than RAM so it may be a long while before the flash memory technology becomes obsolete. The first 3D XPoint devices will be in the initial phase. Thus a lot is still left to be learned about the technology and its expansion.