November 14, 2017 // 11:34 a.m.
Intel and Micron have announced that they have completed fabrication expansion at a joint facility in Utah with a view to considerably boosting production of 3D XPoint flash products - including Intel's Optane family.
Founded as a joint venture between Intel and Micron in 2006, IM Flash has been moving away from its original product family of NAND flash modules in favour of jointly-developed 3D XPoint technology. Unveiled back in 2015 3D XPoint has the potential to scale its performance up to the point where it can be used as universal storage, replacing both non-volatile permanent data storage and high-speed volatile dynamic RAM. The technology finally reached market earlier this year in a data centre centric module which can be used as either high-speed storage or pseudo-RAM, while Intel's first consumer 3D XPoint product concentrated on caching tasks.
With the launch of consumer-centric SSDs and a recent doubling of capacity for the enterprise versions, it's clear Intel is pushing 3D XPoint heavily as the storage technology of the future - and an increase in production capacity promises wider availability and lower pricing to come.
'Intel Optane technology is changing the way we interact with the incredible amounts of data being created every day, and this expansion will help us meet demand for the extraordinary products we've introduced this year and the exciting roadmap ahead,' claikmed Rob Crooke, senior vice president and general manager of the Non-Volatile Memory (NVM) Solutions Group at Intel Corporation, during a ribbon cutting ceremony at the IM Flash Building 60 facility where production expansion work has now been completed. 'When we bring data closer to the CPU and enable blisteringly fast access to that data, we can empower customers to create incredible experiences and deliver data results we've never had before - faster MRIs, smoother gaming experiences, real time analytics and so much more.'
Intel did not detail by how much its manufacturing capabilities had expanded, but did confirm the facility will concentrate wholly on 3D XPoint parts for both companies.