Micron has finally announced its first commercialisation of the 3D XPoint technology it developed in partnership with Intel, announcing what it claims is the 'world's fastest SSD:' The Micron X100.
3D Xpoint - first unveiled in 2015 - is a product of since-dissolved joint venture Intel-Micron Flash Technologies, designed to offer non-volatile storage approaching the performance of volatile dynamic RAM (DRAM). Intel was the first out of the gate with products based on 3D XPoint, launching server-centric parts in March 2017 and mainstream drives in March 2018. Micron, by contrast, has been a little slower to announce a product - but has now officially unveiled what it claims is the 'world's fastest SSD.'
'Micron’s innovative X100 product brings the disruptive potential of 3D XPoint technology to the data centre, driving breakthrough performance improvements for applications and enabling entirely new use cases,' claims Micron's chief business officer Sumit Sadana of the paper launch. 'Micron is the only vertically-integrated provider of DRAM, NAND, and 3D XPoint solutions in the world, and this product continues the evolution of our portfolio towards higher value solutions that accelerate artificial intelligence capabilities, drive faster data analytics and create new insights for our customers.'
The Micron X100 is certainly impressive, at least on paper: Micron claims the device offers 2.5 million input/output operations per second (IOPS), some three times greater than the competition, and offers 9GB/s of bandwidth in read, write, and mixed modes. As with all 3D XPoint implementations, the latency is considerably improved over traditional NAND flash - around 11 times lower, Micron claims. The device itself, meanwhile, uses the standard Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) interface.
There's something missing from Micron's announcement, however: The company has not confirmed pricing and availability, nor which capacities will be available. It has stated only that it is putting the part into 'limited sampling with select customers' - which gives Intel the 3D XPoint market to itself for a little while longer yet.
February 27 2020 | 11:00