Intel Introduces Optane DC P4800X SSD With 375 GB 3D XPoint Memory
Intel has announced their first SSD using Intel’s own 3D XPoint Memory technology, the Optane DC 4800X. Although this SSD is primarily aimed towards use in data centers, consumer versions of Intel’s Optane SSD’s will show up in the near future. The 3D XPoint Memory distinguishes itself from other fast NVMe SSD’s with a significantly lower latency.
3D XPoint Memory was announced by Intel and Micron in 2015 and the Optane DC 4800X is the first solid state drive to use the new memory technology. The speedy storage drive uses three-dimensional phase-change memory, which means that bits are being stored thanks to physical differences in the medium. That’s also the reason why Optane is being called the mix of DRAM and flash, as it combines the low latency of DRAM with the extensive capacity of the regular flash memory.
The demonstrated DC 4800X will be the first in Intel’s Optane line of SSD’s and promises a latency of fewer than 10 microseconds for both reading and writing. The SSD uses a PCI-e 3.0 x4 NVMe interface. Intel didn’t release results for sequential speeds, as that is not one of the technology’s strong points.
Although the Optane SSD DC P4800X will be available right away, it will enter mass production in the second half of 2017. The 375 GB drive uses a 7-channel controller which in turn have 4 dies each for a total of 28. Intel will release a 375 GB version first, with a larger 1.5 TB version coming in the second half of the year. Aside from the NVMe 375 and 1500 GB drives, Intel will also release a 375 GB and 750 GB version in the U2 form factor later this year.
Regarding Intel’s long-term plans for its Optane platform, the chip manufacturer promised to have consumer-targeted drives releasing in the second half of the year, while DIMMs using 3D XPoint memory will hit store shelves in 2018.
Although availability is somewhat limited, it’s possible to purchase the Optane DC P4800X 375 GB SSD for a quite hefty price tag of 1520 dollars, which roughly translates to 4 dollars per gigabyte. Although the initial warranty provided is three years, Intel plans to extend that warranty up to a full five years.