Intel Optane Memory H10 with Solid State Storage Coming to a Laptop Near You

Subject: Storage | April 10, 2019 - 03:48 PM |
Tagged: storage, ssd, QLC, Optane Memory, Optane H10, Optane, NVMe, notebook, laptop, Intel

Intel has shared information about Optane memory H10, a new product that combines Optane memory with Intel QLC NAND on the same M.2 device. Not offered as a standalone product (at least not yet), Intel is partnering with OEMs (including Dell, HP, and ASUS) to include this new storage in upcoming consumer devices, with the first systems available at Best Buy in Q2 of this year.

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This will not be a desktop option at first, as Intel mentions only "thin and light notebooks and certain space-constrained desktop form factors – such as all-in-one PCs and mini PCs" in their press release. So what makes up this new storage product? Intel provided some key specifications outlined below:

Intel Optane Memory H10 with Solid State Storage - Key Specs
Type Intel Optane Technology & Intel QLC 3D NAND Technology
Intel controller and firmware
Interface PCIe 3.0 x4 with NVMe
M.2 2280 Single Sided (2280-S3-M)
Capacities 16GB Intel Optane Memory + 256GB Storage
32GB Intel Optane Memory + 512GB Storage
32GB Intel Optane Memory + 1TB Storage
Power Deep Sleep/L1.2: <15 mW (combined)
Operating Temperature 0-70° C
Endurance Up to 300 TBW (over warranty)
Warranty 5 Years

"The combination of high-speed acceleration and large SSD storage capacity on a single drive will benefit everyday computer users, whether they use their systems to create, game or work. Compared to a standalone TLC 3D NAND SSD system, Intel Optane memory H10 with solid-state storage enables both faster access to frequently used applications and files and better responsiveness with background activity."

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"8th Generation Intel Core U-series mobile platforms featuring Intel Optane memory H10 with solid state storage will be arriving through major OEMs starting this quarter. With these platforms, everyday users will be able to:

  • Launch documents up to 2 times faster while multitasking.
  • Launch games 60% faster while multitasking.
  • Open media files up to 90% faster while multitasking."

Intel_H10_slide_3.png

"SSDs with Intel Optane memory are the fastest compared to NAND SSDs in the majority of common client use cases. Intel-based platforms with Intel Optane memory adapt to everyday computing activities to optimize the performance for the user’s most common tasks and frequently used applications. With offerings of up to 1TB of total storage, Intel Optane memory H10 with solid state storage will have the capacity users need for their apps and files today — and well into the future."

Some very Malventano-like benchmark examples were also provided in the press deck, emphasizing that real-world system performance primarily hits low queue depths:

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You can read the entire press release from Intel at the source link.

Source: Intel

The best of storage; which is just a flash in the pan and which is here for the long term

Subject: Storage | April 9, 2019 - 03:17 PM |
Tagged: NVMe, ssd, hdd, sshd, tape, punchcard, Optane, NAS

TechSpot have taken a look at the current state of the storage market and have chosen what they feel are the best products in six different categories; enthusiast SSDs, mainstream SSDs, HDDs, portable storage, external storage and NAS devices.  Unsurprisingly, Samsung's 970 EVO Plus makes an appearance as does Crucial's MX500, you should check out the rest as well as the reasons they took top spot in their article, with links to their full reviews as well.

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"It's been over a decade but we can finally declare solid state drives are not only mainstream, but they're a commodity. Fast storage will hopefully only get faster but today's best choices are only differentiated by how extreme you want to go and how willing you are to pay for the very best."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

 

Source: TechSpot

Intel today made a number of product and strategy announcements that are all coordinated to continue the company’s ongoing “data-centric transformation.” Building off of recent events such as last August’s Data-Centric Innovation Summit but with roots spanning back years, today’s announcements further solidify Intel’s new strategy: a shift from the “PC-centric” model that for decades drove hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue but is now on the decline, to the rapidly growing and ever changing “data-centric” world of cloud computing, machine learning, artificial intelligence, automated vehicles, Internet-connected devices, and the seemingly unending growth of data that all of these areas generate.

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Rather than abandon its PC roots in this transition, Intel’s plan is to leverage its existing technologies and market share advantages in order to attack the data-centric needs of its customers from all angles. Intel sees a huge market opportunity when considering the range of requirements “from edge to cloud and back:” that is, addressing the needs of everything from IoT devices, to wireless and cellular networking, to networked storage, to powerful data center and cloud servers, and all of the processing, analysis, and security that goes with it.

Intel’s goal, at least as I interpret it, is to be a ‘one stop shop’ for businesses and organizations of all sizes who are transitioning alongside Intel to data-centric business models and workloads. Sure, Intel will be happy to continue selling you Xeon-based servers and workstations, but they can also address your networking needs with new 100Gbps Ethernet solutions, speed up your storage-speed-limited workloads with Optane SSDs, increase performance and reduce costs for memory-dependent workloads by supplementing DRAM with Optane, and address specialized workloads with highly optimized Xeon SKUs and FPGAs. In short, Intel isn’t the company that makes your processor or server, it’s now (or rather wants to be) the platform that can handle your needs from end-to-end. Or, as the company’s recent slogan states: “move faster, store more, process everything.”

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Continue on to read our full coverage of Intel's announcements.

Intel Extends Optane Support to Pentium and Celeron Processors

Subject: Storage | March 29, 2019 - 01:57 PM |
Tagged: storage, ssd, pentium, Optane, M.2, Intel, celeron

Intel has quietly expanded Optane support to include 8th-gen and above Pentium and Celeron processors. Aside from the 8th-gen requirement (the report at Tom's Hardware lists this as 7th-gen or above, but Intel's release notes specify 8th-gen) users must also be running Rapid Storage Technology (RST) drivers version 17.2 or later, and have a compatible BIOS.

optane_memory.jpg

The direct quote from Intel's driver release description:

"Intel® Optane™ memory support extended to desktop Intel® Pentium™ and Intel® Celeron™ processors starting with Intel 8th generation systems and Intel® RST 17.2 driver or later. You must have the corresponding system BIOS for support. Consult your motherboard/system vendor for more information."

The latest driver (Intel Optane Memory User Interface and Driver for System Acceleration) was actually released back on February 20, and is currently version 17.2.0.1009.

PC Perspective Podcast #538 - Gaming Headsets, Ryzen Price Drops, and More!

Subject: General Tech | March 29, 2019 - 06:55 AM |
Tagged: ryzen, podcast, Optane, microphone, hyperx, graphics drivers, corsair, Cinebench, asus, anthem

PC Perspective Podcast #538 - 3/27/2019

Join us this week as we review a new quiet case from Corsair, a high-end gaming headset from ASUS, the first standalone microphone from HyperX, and more!

Subscribe to the PC Perspective Podcast

Check out previous podcast episodes: http://pcper.com/podcast

Show Topics
00:05 - Intro
02:04 - Review: Corsair Carbide 678C Case
08:43 - Review: ASUS ROG Delta Gaming Headset
16:25 - Review: HyperX QuadCast USB Microphone
22:51 - News: AMD Ryzen 2000 Price Drops
27:43 - News: Cinebench R20 Standalone Release
30:41 - News: Anthem DLSS & GeForce Highlights Update
33:58 - News: GeForce Game Ready Drivers 419.67
38:01 - News: Intel vs. Micron
43:10 - Picks of the Week
53:04 - Outro

Picks of the Week
Jim: SeaQuest DSV
Jeremy: Intel NUC 8 VR
Josh: AMD Ryzen 7 2700X
Sebastian: At Last the 1948 Show

Today's Podcast Hosts
Sebastian Peak
Josh Walrath
Jeremy Hellstrom
Jim Tanous

Samsung is rolling out eMRAM for the IoT

Subject: General Tech | March 11, 2019 - 01:16 PM |
Tagged: everspin, eMRAM, Samsung, iot, Optane

Embedded magnetic RAM has been around for a bit, usually thanks to the work of Everspin whom have licensed their technology to GLOBALFOUNDRIES, though today Samsung has announced they are developing their own.  It is less expensive to produce than STT-RAM, PC-RAM or memristors yet offers many of the same advantages over flash memory, namely much higher performance and lower electrical requirements.  

Samsung is a ways from production, according to The Register Samsung doesn't expect to tape out a 1Gb eMRAM test chip until later this year.  This would be a big leap forward for the performance of embedded systems, as ARM is working with Samsung to ensure compatibility and we may even see eMRAM onboard ARM chips once Samsung's production lines ramp up.  It will be interesting to see what effect this will have on the market once it arrives; hopefully a larger splash than a certain other type of non-volitile memory!

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"Samsung this week claimed it is mass-producing and commercially shipping embedded magnetic RAM (eMRAM) to replace EEPROM, SRAM, and NAND memories in embedded electronics."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register

PC Perspective Podcast #529 - HyperX Cloud MIX, G-SYNC Compatible Monitors

Subject: General Tech | January 17, 2019 - 07:02 AM |
Tagged: video, Threadripper, podcast, Optane, micron, Intel, hyperx, g-sync compatibility, g-sync, freesync, cortana, 3dmark

PC Perspective Podcast #529 - 1/16/2019

This week on the show, we look at a review of a new wireless gaming headset from HyperX, talk about the new G-SYNC Compatibility program for FreeSync monitors, look at ray tracing performance in the new 3DMark Port Royal benchmark, and more!

Subscribe to the PC Perspective Podcast

Check out previous podcast episodes: http://pcper.com/podcast

Show Topics
01:34 - Review: HyperX Cloud MIX
05:19 - News: G-SYNC Compatible Monitor Driver
13:38 - News: Threadripper NUMA Dissociater
15:47 - News: HardOCP Interview with AMD's Scott Herkelman
21:35 - News: Intel-Micron 3D XPoint Split
24:34 - News: Cortana & Windows 10 Search
29:38 - News: 3DMark Port Royal Ray Tracing Benchmark
35:53 - Picks of the Week
46:24 - Outro

Sponsor: This week's episode is brought to you by Casper. Save $50 on select mattresses by visiting http://www.casper.com/pcper and using promo code pcper at checkout.

Picks of the Week
Jim: iPhone XS Max Battery Case
Jeremy: 3D-Printed Resistor Storage
Josh: ASRock X470 Taichi Motherboard
Sebastian: Koss KPH30ik Headphones

Today's Podcast Hosts
Sebastian Peak
Josh Walrath
Jeremy Hellstrom
Jim Tanous

STH Goes Under the Heat Spreader with Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory

Subject: Storage | December 20, 2018 - 10:34 AM |
Tagged: storage, ram, Optane DC Persistent Memory, Optane, micron, memory, Intel, Hynix, flash, ddr4, 3D XPoint

ServeTheHome got up close and personal with Optane DC Persistent Memory in an article posted yesterday, removing the heat spreaders and taking a look at (and several photos of) the components within.

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Intel Optane Persistent Memory DDR4 module, front view (via ServeTheHome)

"We are going to take a 128GB Intel Optane Persistent Memory DDR4 module, and open it up. Until now, Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory has mostly been photographed with its big black heat spreader. We ended up with a handful of modules not from Intel, nor a system provider, but a handful to use."

Among their notes we have this interesting find, as SK.Hynix is the provider of the module's DRAM, rather than Micron:

"On the other side of the module from the Optane controller is a DDR4 DRAM module, this one from SK.Hynix. Model number H5AN4G8NAFR-TFC. We are not sure why Intel would not use a Micron module here since Micron has been the manufacturing partner for 3D XPoint thus far."

Intel-Optane-v-DDR4-DIMM-Underneath-Controller-Side-2.jpg

Intel Optane Persistent Memory DDR4 module, rear view (via ServeTheHome)

The full article is available here from STH and includes an embed of this video covering their de-lidding and chip exploration process:

Source: ServeTheHome

Intel's Optane DC Persistent Memory DIMMs Push Latency Closer to DRAM

Subject: Storage | December 12, 2018 - 09:17 AM |
Tagged: ssd, Optane, Intel, DIMM, 3D XPoint

Intel's architecture day press release contains the following storage goodness mixed within all of the talk about 3D chip packaging:

Memory and Storage: Intel discussed updates on Intel® Optane™ technology and the products based upon that technology. Intel® Optane™ DC persistent memory is a new product that converges memory-like performance with the data persistence and large capacity of storage. The revolutionary technology brings more data closer to the CPU for faster processing of bigger data sets like those used in AI and large databases. Its large capacity and data persistence reduces the need to make time-consuming trips to storage, which can improve workload performance. Intel Optane DC persistent memory delivers cache line (64B) reads to the CPU. On average, the average idle read latency with Optane persistent memory is expected to be about 350 nanoseconds when applications direct the read operation to Optane persistent memory, or when the requested data is not cached in DRAM. For scale, an Optane DC SSD has an average idle read latency of about 10,000 nanoseconds (10 microseconds), a remarkable improvement.2  In cases where requested data is in DRAM, either cached by the CPU’s memory controller or directed by the application, memory sub-system responsiveness is expected to be identical to DRAM (<100 nanoseconds).
 
The company also showed how SSDs based on Intel’s 1 Terabit QLC NAND die move more bulk data from HDDs to SSDs, allowing faster access to that data.

Did you catch that? 3D XPoint memory in DIMM form factor is expected to have an access latency of 350 nanoseconds! That's down from 10 microseconds of the PCIe-based Optane products like Optane Memory and the P4800X. I realize those are just numbers, and showing a nearly 30x latency improvement may be easier visually, so here:

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Above is an edit to my Bridging the Gap chart from the P4800X review, showing where this new tech would fall in purple. That's all we have to go on for now, but these are certainly exciting times. Consider that non-volatile storage latencies have improved by nearly 100,000x over the last decade, and are now within striking distance (less than 10x) of DRAM! Before you get too excited, realize that Optane DIMMs will be showing up in enterprise servers first, as they require specialized configurations to treat DIMM slots as persistent storage instead of DRAM. That said, I'm sure the tech will eventually trickle down to desktops in some form or fashion. If you're hungry for more details on what makes 3D XPoint tick, check out how 3D XPoint works in my prior article.

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