What 3D XPoint says about the PC of the future

29 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Intel and Micron announce ‘revolutionary’ 3D Xpoint memory category.

The new memory, known as 3D XPoint, is said to be 1,000 times faster than what’s currently in use and is the first new mainstream memory chip to come to market in 25 years.

CHIP BEHEMOTHS INTEL AND MICRON have announced a new category of non-volatile memory technology that they claim is a “revolutionary breakthrough” in the industry. The technology will be aimed at making it faster for computers to access and work with the increasing amount of data created by connected devices and digital services.

Its very dense, non-volatile characteristics allow us to select each memory cell individually,” said Rob Crooke, SVP and GM of Intel’s non-volatile memory solutions group, in a web cast. Among those likely to use the technology are operators of large data centres such as Google and Facebook to help boost performance of their servers. “This to them has got to be a fabulous opportunity because they can significantly increase the amount of memory they have in their servers,” said Martin Reynolds, an analyst for Gartner. “That’s kind of a new market. In fact, CNET reports that it’s ten times more dense than NAND memory, allowing it to squeeze more capacity into the same physical size while remaining energy efficient—and “affordable”, though it’s open for debate what the latter may mean. Intel and Micro claim that the new type of memory can be used as both system memory and non-volatile storage, suggesting it can be used to replace both RAM and SSDs.

This creates a 3D checkerboard where memory cells sit at the intersection of word lines and bit lines, allowing the cells to be addressed individually. “Perpendicular conductors connect 128 billion densely packed memory cells, each storing a single bit of data. Examples given of benefits from the technology included shop owners more swiftly identifying fraud patterns in financial transactions; health care researchers analysing data in real time, and tracking diseases or parsing genetic data. The 3D XPoint technology could also enhance personal computing in ways such as making social media interactions faster or video games more immersive, the companies said. – AFP The initial technology stores 128Gb per die across two memory layers, but Intel said that future generations of the technology could increase the number of memory layers, in addition to traditional lithographic pitch scaling, further improving system capacities.

Microsoft released Windows 10 to the masses on Wednesday; users of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 who reserved a free update through the Get Windows 10 app will start to see a notification pop-up informing them that their update is ready for installation. A coalition of 39 digital rights and privacy groups and 29 security experts urged President Obama to threaten a veto of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), which the Senate may vote on in early August. CISA would protect businesses that share cyberthreat information from customer lawsuits, but its opponents say it goes too far, fails to protect users’ personal information and “allows vast amounts of personal data to be shared with the government, even that which is not necessary to identify or respond to a cybersecurity threat.” Rather than making end-users wait for developers to code apps from scratch, Salesforce has come out with a Lego-like approach that allows any business user to create an app by linking components via a drag-and-drop interface.

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