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Intel's new Optane XPoint SSDs and DIMMs could be delayed

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August 16, 2016

At Intel's Developer Forum in China last week, we've heard that its Optane XPoint SSDs and DIMMs could be delayed by several months.

Additionally, we are hearing from Intel that the first version of its XPoint chips can only be used for SSDs.

A second more developed version is needed to make XPoint for DIMMs, the chip maker has warned.

That means XPoint DIMMs may not appear until sometime in 2018, which would give competing non-volatile DIMMs more time within which to establish themselves.

If that's true, this means Diablo and Netlist get more breathing space, well somehow anyway.

To be sure, Intelís Optane SSDs employ an Intel ASIC as part of their control function. We are informed that this ASICís design, which was started some time ago, made a few assumptions about the characteristics of the media which have not been borne out as the XPoint chips have been delivered from the IMTF Lehi plant.

This controller issue has contributed to the XPoint SSDís relatively poor performance advantage over NAND SSDs, a mere 10X performance boost instead of the potential 1,000 times better than NAND.

This may delay Intelís Optane XPoint SSD production availability until sometime in 2017, Intel warns.

An Intel spokesperson said-- "3D XPoint technology is in production and Intel has early samples with some customers. Intelís CEO recently stated during the Q2 earnings call, Optane SSDs will start to ship at the end of this year with 3D XPoint DIMMs following next year. We have not shared details on 2nd generation 3D XPoint technology."

Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see at what dates either late this year or in 2017 they will come out ready to be used. We'll keep you posted.

Source: Intel Corp.

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