Intel Quietly Launches Official Optane Memory Site

Subject: Storage | February 15, 2017 - 08:58 PM |
Tagged: XPoint, ssd, Optane, memory, Intel, cache

We've been hearing a lot about Intel's upcoming Optane memory over the past two years, but the information had all been in the form of press announcements and leaked roadmap slides.

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We now have an actual Optane landing page on the Intel site that discusses the first iteration of 'Intel Optane Memory', which appears to be the 8000p Series that we covered last October and saw as an option on some upcoming Lenovo laptops. The site does not cover the upcoming enterprise parts like the 375GB P4800X, but instead, focuses on the far smaller 16GB and 32GB 'System Accelerator' M.2 modules.

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Despite using only two lanes of PCIe 3.0, these modules turn in some impressive performance, but the capacities when using only one or two (16GB each) XPoint dies preclude an OS install. Instead, these will be used, presumably in combination with a newer form of Intel's Rapid Storage Technology driver, as a caching layer meant as an HDD accelerator:

While the random write performance and endurance of these parts blow any NAND-based SSD out of the water, the 2-lane bottleneck holds them back compared to high-end NVMe NAND SSDs, so we will likely see this first consumer iteration of Intel Optane Memory in OEM systems equipped with hard disks as their primary storage. A very quick 32GB caching layer should help speed things up considerably for the majority of typical buyers of these types of mobile and desktop systems, while still keeping the total cost below that for a decent capacity NAND SSD as primary storage. Hey, if you can't get every vendor to switch to pure SSD, at least you can speed up that spinning rust a bit, right?

Source: Intel

February 15, 2017 | 09:51 PM - Posted by Mutation666 (not verified)

I don't understand their add, they are like your on an old slow system. Then they are like only works on 7th gen systems, seems kind of counter productive of an example to me.

February 16, 2017 | 04:08 AM - Posted by Master Chen (not verified)

>2017
>32GB
Ouch, now THAT'S a burn!
Looks like my hopes of getting a ~512GB capacity one by the 2020 have been flushed down the drain. Alright, Seagate, fine, eight 16TB HDDs it is, then. Sheesh.

February 16, 2017 | 07:47 AM - Posted by BlackDove (not verified)

Im sure that there will be enterprise 512GB Optane DIMMs very soon.

February 16, 2017 | 09:46 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

For $$$rape$$$ sure.

February 16, 2017 | 11:16 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I want DIMMs with DRAM and XPoint(Optane or QuantX whatever is more affordable) on the same DIMM with a backplane bus on the DIMM wiring the DRAM Directly to the XPoint and a controller to manage the queues. Let the DIMM's controller handle in the background any movement of data to and from the XPoint/NVM and DRAM with the memory channels to and from the CPU and DRAM not taxed for any additional bandwidth for the movement of data to and from XPoint and DIMM based DRAM.

I'd even want mirroring functionality between the DRAM and the XPoint done in the background by the DIMM controller so the CPU/OS will not be burdened with that task for some more fault tolerant computing systems. I’d also like some paging file management functionality managed between the CPU and the DIMM’s memory controller so that the CPUs memory controller could directly pass any memory paging/swap file commands directly to the DIMM’s controller and free the main DIMM/DRAM memory channels of any extra bandwidth usage from paging swaps between XPoint and DRAM on the DIMM.

February 16, 2017 | 12:19 PM - Posted by VeixES (not verified)

PcPer,
Please test the upcoming Lenovo laptops with these Optane accelerators(m.2) in different configurations.
Personally interested to know if this m.2 accelerator can have any latency/speed benefits when using along with SSD(850evo for example).

February 16, 2017 | 12:36 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

does optane share the same M2 slot? If so seems like there isn't a point for consumer/enthus for 1 M2 slot mobos.

I just read that unlocked i3 supports optane

February 17, 2017 | 11:21 AM - Posted by Paul A. Mitchell (not verified)

> Optane landing page on the Intel site

I left this comment in the pop-up window on that page:

We were honestly hoping for Optane in 2.5" SSDs + U.2 cable + option to increase clock to 12G (like SAS), then 16G when PCIe 4.0 arrives. See also the Highpoint RocketRAID 3840A NVMe RAID controller: maybe Intel could OEM that 3840A?