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Intel Micron 3D XPoint Evolving

Intel Micron 3D XPoint Evolving

Intel Micron 3D XPoint Evolving

Intel Micron 3D XPoint Evolving

Generations of memory
Major memory classes or categories timeline (Image via Intel and Micron)

Co-Creators of 3D XPoint the next generation of non-volatile memory (NVM) also known as storage class memory (SCM) or Persistent Memory (PMEM) have announced they will complete joint development of second-generation technology, then pursue their separate paths. Intel and Micron jointly announced 3D XPoint three years (July 2015) as a new technology with the first generation of products have appeared in the market or past year or so.

Various industry vs customer adoption deployment timelines
Various Adoption Deployment Timelines for different focus areas

For those in the industry who measure technology on shorter months vs. years adoption and deployment scenarios, or time from press release until new news, some would say 3D XPoint is late, behind schedule, which perhaps it is based on some timelines. On the other hand, IT customers tend to be on a different timeline that may seem like glacial speed to industry focused rapid change. IMHO 3D XPoint is about on the right timeline based on IT customer deployment which may very well accelerate for broader usage with the second generation based products.

3D XPoint based Intel Optane
Top Intel 750 NVMe PCIe AiC SSD, bottom Intel Optane NVMe 900P U.2 SSD with Ableconn carrier

While the focus is easily around Intel and Micron going separate ways, keep in mind that there is the second generation of 3D XPoint in the works. Some might consider the second generation of 3D XPoint as the first real production and volume technology with the first being just that, the first generation. An example of a first generation 3D XPoint based product are the Intel Optane NVMe devices such as the one show above, and discussed in this StorageIO Lab test drive post here.

NVMe and NVM along with SCM as well as PMEM better together

Where to learn more

Learn more about Intel, Micron, NVM, NVMe, 3D XPoint, SCM, PMEM and data infrastructures related topics via the following links:

Additional learning experiences along with common questions (and answers), as well as tips can be found in Software Defined Data Infrastructure Essentials book.

Software Defined Data Infrastructure Essentials Book SDDC

What this all means

Some may see the announcement of Intel and Micron pursuing separate paths as a negative while others as a positive. While completing the second-generation development together, both can leverage what they have done while seeking different, presumably divergent or expand paths forward.

A concern could be if Intel and Micron merely go their separate ways yet focus on the same market areas. A benefit could be if Intel and Micron pursue different market focus areas with some overlap while expanding to broader opportunities.

The latter scenario could be useful for moving the technology forward by giving it new and different opportunities. For example, some that favor Intel along with its ecosystem would prefer whatever Intel does next. Likewise, those that favor Micron and their ecosystem may influence the direction Micron goes.

Does this mean Micron and Intel are all done collaborating? Tough to say.

However, they still share a fabrication facility (fab) imFLASH in Lehi Utah.

Overall, I think this is a good move for both Intel and Micron once they get the second generation of 3D XPoint developed and into production for customer deployments. With Intel Micron 3D XPoint Evolving, lets see what's next.

Ok, nuff said, for now.

Cheers Gs

Greg Schulz - Microsoft MVP Cloud and Data Center Management, VMware vExpert 2010-2018. Author of Software Defined Data Infrastructure Essentials (CRC Press), as well as Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press), Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier) and twitter @storageio. Courteous comments are welcome for consideration. First published on https://storageioblog.com any reproduction in whole, in part, with changes to content, without source attribution under title or without permission is forbidden.

All Comments, (C) and (TM) belong to their owners/posters, Other content (C) Copyright 2006-2018 Server StorageIO and UnlimitedIO. All Rights Reserved. StorageIO is a registered Trade Mark (TM) of Server StorageIO.

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Greg Schulz is founder of the Server and StorageIO (StorageIO) Group, an IT industry analyst and consultancy firm. Greg has worked with various server operating systems along with storage and networking software tools, hardware and services. Greg has worked as a programmer, systems administrator, disaster recovery consultant, and storage and capacity planner for various IT organizations. He has worked for various vendors before joining an industry analyst firm and later forming StorageIO.

In addition to his analyst and consulting research duties, Schulz has published over a thousand articles, tips, reports and white papers and is a sought after popular speaker at events around the world. Greg is also author of the books Resilient Storage Network (Elsevier) and The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC). His blog is at www.storageioblog.com and he can also be found on twitter @storageio.