Intel and Micron memory chip tuned to data driven age

29 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

3D XPoint Memory Technology Could Usher In A New Golden Age Of Electronics.

Intel and Micron say they have designed a new class of memory chip that could radically improve the performance of smartphones, desktops, laptops, and other computing devices.

For more information on the technology itself, I’d recommend reading this article, as it covers many of the technical details made during today’s announcement. Traditional computers—including PCs and laptops as well as the data center servers that drive the world’s Internet services—are built around a processor, some DRAM, and a hard drive. As it stands today, most interactive electronic devices have some sort of central processor or SoC (system on a chip), that links to some system memory and storage. The DRAM holds the short-term data that the processor needs to drive the machine at any given moment, while the hard drive holds applications and long-term data. In most PCs, the storage attaches to the system via the SATA interface or PCI Express and system memory resides in its own slots, connected directly to the memory controller in a CPU.

Analytics and Big Data today are done in either large monolithic data centers or scale-out data centers,” he says. “This technology enables ‘edge analytics,’ meaning Big Data could be done outside of these kinds of data centers, closer to the data. Imagine an ultra-small form factor PC, for example, that can instantly power up and start off from the exact point it was shut down, with hundreds of gigabytes of high-speed memory, that’s capable of transferring data at many gigabytes or even terabytes per second. System memory limitation could essentially be eliminated and there would be no latency associated with copying data from a relatively slow storage device into system memory.

We’re talking about game changing stuff here. 3D XPoint memory could usher in entire new system architectures in not only the consumer space, but in the enterprise as well. Companies such as Crossbar and Everspin Technologies say that have built technology similar to 3D XPoint, and a few years ago, HP revealed hardware that used memristors, a new fundamental component of computing that could be used to build both processors and long-term storage. HP is now building a system using this technology, called The Machine, which it says it will ship by the end of the decade. 3D XPoint technology may still be a long way from market. The potential applications for the technology is so wide reaching and disruptive, it’s difficult to imagine all of the things it could enable moving forward at this early juncture.

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