New SSD Memory Technology To Influence High-End SSD Market

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Intel plans to ship its next-generation SSD memory products in the third quarter of 2016. The new products named ‘Optane’ are supposed to enhance efficiency over existing products and widen the lead over competitors in the high-end SSD market, according to TrendForce.

The products are based on a new non-volatile memory technology known as 3D XPoint, which greatly surpasses the current mainstream products in efficiency and endurance. Intel plans to introduce 3D XPoint to both the high-end server and the PC markets. Their shipments will also complement the release of Kaby Lake, the successor to Skylake processor platform.

Compared with traditional SSDs, 3D XPoint SSDs are claimed to be on average over seven times as fast in terms of IOPS (input/output operations per second) and over eight times as quick in terms of read latency period. Moreover, 3D XPoint SSDs have a high endurance level (measured in program/erase, or P/E, cycles) comparable to that of SLC-SSDs.

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The launch of 3D XPoint products will make Intel a strong threat to memory leader Samsung, especially in the high-end SSD market, according to TrendForce. The high-end SSD market will receive a lot of attention in the near future as the rivalry between Intel and Samsung heats up. Samsung’s new memory products, which are currently under development and scheduled for launch in the middle of next year, will incorporate the company’s technological strengths in both DRAM and NAND Flash manufacturing.

Intel will introduce 3D XPoint to both the high-end server and the PC markets, with PC-OEMs sampling the Optane products in the middle of 2016. During the client sampling period, Intel will also be launching its latest processor platform Kaby Lake that are designed to support the new memory technology.

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The new memory will be between most DRAM and NAND Flash memory products in price per gigabyte and Optane’s arrival is supposed to first impact the high-end Flash SSD market.

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