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Intel and Micron Develop Breakthrough Ultra-Fast Memory Technology

Intel and Micron Develop Breakthrough Ultra-Fast Memory Technology

by Giulio PriscoJuly 29, 2015

Intel and Micron announced their new 3D XPoint technology, a non-volatile memory that has the potential to revolutionize electronics. 3D XPoint technology is 1,000 times faster than other non-volatile memory technologies in the marketplace today and, according to the companies, is the first new memory category in more than 25 years.

According to the joint press release, 3D XPoint technology combines the performance, density, power, non-volatility and cost advantages of all available memory technologies on the market today. The technology is up to 1,000 times faster and has up to 1,000 times greater endurance than NAND flash technology, introduced in 1989 and still used today, and is 10 times denser than conventional memory.

“Non-volatile” means that data is not erased when the device is powered off.

A Revolutionary Technology for Game-Changing Performance in Memory and Storage Solutions

3D XPoint cross-point“For decades, the industry has searched for ways to reduce the lag time between the processor and data to allow much faster analysis,” said Rob Crooke, senior vice president and general manager of Intel’s Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group. “This new class of non-volatile memory achieves this goal and brings game-changing performance to memory and storage solutions.”

3D Xpoint technology wafers are currently running in production lines at Intel Micron Flash Technologies fab. The new technology significantly reduces latencies, allowing much more data to be stored close to the processor and accessed at speeds previously impossible for non-volatile storage.

“One of the most significant hurdles in modern computing is the time it takes the processor to reach data on long-term storage,” said Mark Adams, president of Micron.

This new class of non-volatile memory is a revolutionary technology that allows for quick access to enormous data sets and enables entirely new applications.

3D Xpoint technology is based on unique material compounds and a transistor-less cross point architecture that creates a three-dimensional checkerboard where memory cells sit at the intersection of word lines and bit lines, allowing the cells to be addressed individually. As a result, data can be written and read in small sizes, leading to faster and more efficient read/write processes.

3D Xpoint technology could permit doing without bulky and fragile hard disks used in desktop and laptop computers, and using solid state memory – like the non-volatile memory used in iPhones and iPads – in all consumer computers including high performance machines and gaming rigs. There are countless possible applications for specialized computing tasks that require processing huge volumes of data in near-realtime.

Images from Intel and Micron.

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