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[TH] 3D Xpoint Optane SSDs spotted

post #1 of 52
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It looks like the 3D XPoint will come to market as an NVMe SSD at first, then with DIMM form factors in the future. The new SSDs are already on compatibility lists, so they cant be far off. The big question, of course, is price. I think they will be too expensive for most users.
Quote:
Devices that pass the tests make it to the UNH-IOL Integrators List, which proves the devices are up to NVMe snuff. The list now includes the recently certified Intel Optane, which is Intel's 3D XPoint-powered SSD of the future. Intel and Micron tout that 3D XPoint has 1000x the performance and endurance of NAND with 10x the density of DRAM and Intel revealed that it helped establish the NVMe interface with its then-secret 3D XPoint in mind.

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/google-intel-3d-xpoint-optane-ssd,32259.html
post #2 of 52
Coolio! I wonder if Zen will also be compatible with this interface? And it says kaby lake will be compatible but nothing before it? Interesting to say the least.

Frightened to know what prices will be like tho.
post #3 of 52
Gandalf, It's just an infinity symbol behind the price tag.
post #4 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by GANDALFtheGREY View Post

Coolio! I wonder if Zen will also be compatible with this interface? And it says kaby lake will be compatible but nothing before it? Interesting to say the least.

Frightened to know what prices will be like tho.

NVMe and PCIe, so almost certainly yes. Handling the fancy type of memory would be done by a new SSD controller designed for 3D Xpoint rather than the typical NAND flash. NVMe is pretty standard at this point. I think you can hack Intel platforms all the way back to 6-series chipsets (as in Sandy Bridge) to use it. It also works with existing AMD chipsets for FM2+, so there ya go.
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post #5 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by CynicalUnicorn View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by GANDALFtheGREY View Post

Coolio! I wonder if Zen will also be compatible with this interface? And it says kaby lake will be compatible but nothing before it? Interesting to say the least.

Frightened to know what prices will be like tho.

NVMe and PCIe, so almost certainly yes. Handling the fancy type of memory would be done by a new SSD controller designed for 3D Xpoint rather than the typical NAND flash. NVMe is pretty standard at this point. I think you can hack Intel platforms all the way back to 6-series chipsets (as in Sandy Bridge) to use it. It also works with existing AMD chipsets for FM2+, so there ya go.

The proprietary DIMM drives will probably be faster than the PCIe ones though. And I don't see Intel making the XPoint DIMMS compatible with AMD CPUs anytime soon... Althought that will almost certainly be an enterprise only thing anyway.
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post #6 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by CynicalUnicorn View Post

NVMe and PCIe, so almost certainly yes. Handling the fancy type of memory would be done by a new SSD controller designed for 3D Xpoint rather than the typical NAND flash. NVMe is pretty standard at this point. I think you can hack Intel platforms all the way back to 6-series chipsets (as in Sandy Bridge) to use it. It also works with existing AMD chipsets for FM2+, so there ya go.

Okay cool I didn't know that.

Ya it seemed like it was something magical and mystical and new (with regards to the communication interface). Although that seems to be what Intel wants you to believe about every incremental platform "upgrade".

Still really interested to see the DIMM implementation of these chips tho and what can be done with this type of multi purpose memory.
Edited by GANDALFtheGREY - 7/16/16 at 2:27pm
post #7 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucethemoose View Post

The proprietary DIMM drives will probably be faster than the PCIe ones though. And I don't see Intel making the XPoint DIMMS compatible with AMD CPUs anytime soon... Althought that will almost certainly be an enterprise only thing anyway.

Why would they not? They aren't competing against AMD in the SSD market, after all. And it isn't just Intel but also Micron who is selling these thanks to their partnership. It's sort of like Apple using Samsung components in iPhones. Sure, Samsung might have produced it, but it's not like Apple has fabs to make their own RAM or a department working on their own SSDs. Companies in this industry can't just be watered down to a name and a logo since all of them are making so many different things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GANDALFtheGREY View Post

Still really interested to see the DIMM implementation of these chips tho and what can be done with this type of multi purpose memory.

That concept already exists, sort of. The goal is to both minimize latency and make it extremely predictable rather than maximize bandwidth. But ULLtraDIMMs or however it's capitalized aren't allowed to be sold in the US anymore thanks to a lawsuit. It isn't a "patent troll" type lawsuit either and seems like a pretty valid excuse to go to court. Unfortunately it also impacts SanDisk (and indirectly their server-making customers such as HP and IBM, and business which buy those servers...) and the progress of some nifty tech.

Presumably 3D Xpoint will incorporate the same ideas and be better overall. NAND flash and NOR flash (NOR flash being much slower and often less durable, but accessible at the bit level) are very old, introduced during the '80s, and have some major flaws inherent to them such as erasing and durability. The way modern flash drives are accessed also adds a ton of latency, going from the CPU to the southbridge to the SATA controller to the SSD controller and back again. SATA and even PCIe based flash is incredibly high latency, taking thousands of clock cycles to access, compared to system memory at hundreds, last-level cache (LLC) at dozens, and L1 cache at <5. (I think, I can't remember the exact values and might be off by a couple zeroes.)
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post #8 of 52
what writing/reading speeds are we talking about?
post #9 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by warm View Post

what writing/reading speeds are we talking about?

AFAIK with 3dxpoint we're likely to see bandwidth's in the gigabytes to maybe even 10+ gigabytes per second range. Not comparable to ddr4 (50GB/s w/ 3200mhz dual channel) but substantial.
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post #10 of 52
How fast is the first generation optane vs the upcoming Samsung 960?

I guess in real world performance it probably just barely faster.

SM961 is already hitting 3.2GB/s read and 1.8GB/s write with 450K IOPS, not to mention reasonable 50 cent per GB price. 960 Pro retail version is going to be even faster, more stable and probably cheaper as well

Optane is going to have a hard time competing 960 for anything except OS drive (That is if it prove to be so fast its instant boot for window 10)
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