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Home > Technology List > A new class of memory and storage_Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory An

A new class of memory and storage_Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory Announced

Published time: 2018-06-05


Five days ago, Intel released a new product in a high profile. There is no doubt that when the product is released, major news media rush to report on it. Through Google search related keywords, the search volume reached millions, thus seeing the popularity of this memory product. Did everyone understand this product? Do not worry, I will tell you about this product_Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory, A new class of memory and storage

2.ABOUT Intel

Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) is the leading vendor of processors that go into data center servers, and it has been trying to sell its processors into other portions of the data center, such as networking. Although processors will continue to be the company's bread and butter in the data center for the foreseeable future.

3.Related media report 

Press Source: Intel News

Since Intel(NASDAQ:INTC) announced its 3D Xpoint memory (Optane), the company has said that the new memory category would represent a major leap in the industry, Proof of these claims has been relatively slow to appear — it’s difficult to replace existing memory technologies, and the existing memory stack (spinning hard drives, NAND, and DRAM) covers a wide range of price points, power consumptions, reliability, and capacity.

Intel is introducing a new generation of Optane, called Optane DC Persistent Memory, which it believes will bridge the gap between DRAM and non-volatile storage while extending the available Memory per CPU slot to 3TB.

According to Anandtech, Optane dc permanent memory is compatible with DDR4 pins and will be provided in a package with a maximum of 512GB per stick (6 RAM slots = 3TB addressable RAM per slot).The system will be able to use the larger Optane cache with the smaller DRAM pool;One of the Intel demos demonstrates the Cassandra database running on 256GB DDR4 RAM + 1TB Optane DC PM, rather than 1TB DRAM.Intel Optane DC PM mainly focus on the consistency of storage performance.In some cases, storage using DRAM + NVMe connections may be limited, and memory write back can lead to performance bottlenecks.Optane caching avoids this problem.

intel is also working on a capability it calls Persistent Memory over Fabric (PMoF), the low latency data replication method with direct load/store access that can keep 287000 ops/s performance, and modes for 3164 ops traditional DRAM + storage system per second.(Intel points out that the final consistency of the DRAM + storage system is the same as Optane platform.)But the low latency of Optane is also useful in other situations,like when the database is restarted.Intel reported that the traditional reset time was 2,100 seconds for Optane and 17 seconds for Optane.

Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory Announced

How's it supposed to accomplish that goal? Well, by offering more capacity than traditional DRAM per module, with the first products being available in three SKUs with 128, 256, and 512GB capacities. That's significantly more than the highest DDR4 stick offers--Crucial previously held that crown with a 128GB capacity product that cost $4,000 per stick. By contrast, Intel Optane DC is supposed to "offer the unprecedented combination of high-capacity, affordability, and persistence," so we're guessing the first products won't run customers upwards of $4,000 a pop.

Here's what Intel's vice president and general manager of Xeon products and data center marketing, Lisa Spelman, said in a press release:

"High-capacity persistent memory in the data center allows applications to run without incurring the latency penalty of going out to storage over the PCIe bus. As developers adapt software, this new memory class is designed to enable cost-effective, large-capacity in-memory database solutions; provide greater system uptime and faster recovery after power cycles; accelerate virtual machine storage; deliver higher performance to multi-node, distributed cloud applications; and offer advanced encryption for persistent data built into the hardware."

Now we know that Intel's sampling the new Optane DC persistent memory and that the products will ship for revenue to "select customers" at some point this year, with broad availability beginning sometime in 2019. Developers won't have to wait to get their hands on the tech, though, because Intel plans to offer remote access Intel Optane DC persistent memory-equipped systems via the Intel Builders Construction Zone.

Intel's hope is that developers will take quickly to the new persistent memory products. Spelman said in the press release:

"As technologies like Intel Optane DC persistent memory come to market, systems architects and developers should consider new methods for data access and storage, and uncover opportunities to remove throughput bottlenecks. These new methods could also result in deriving more value from data.  The combination of Intel Optane DC persistent memory with our performance-optimized Intel Optane SSDs and next-generation cost-optimized 3D NAND SSDs with Quad-Level Cell (QLC) technology will further deliver storage efficiency to warm data as an alternative to relying on HDDs."

Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory, A new class of memory and storage

The new memory will be available in capacities up to 512GB per module bringer over 3TB per CPU socket translating to more data near the processor for even better latency. 

Benefits include:

Cost-effective, large-capacity in-memory database solutions

Greater system uptime and faster recovery after power cycles

Accelerate virtual machine storage

Deliver higher performance to multi-node, distributed cloud applications

Offer advanced encryption for persistent data built into the hardware

The benefits of this technology can have significant impacts on several operations in the data center. Intel gives the examples: for planned restarts of a NoSQL in-memory database using Aerospike Hybrid Memory Architecture, Intel Optane DC persistent memory provides a minutes-to-seconds restart speedup compared to DRAM-only cold restart. On memory-intensive workloads such as Redis IMDB server, Intel’s persistent memory enables higher memory capacities, delivering more server instances at the same service level agreement (SLA) performance when compared to a system configured with just DRAM.

Years in the making, Intel has been working with a broad ecosystem to both streamline adoption and creating a new generation of applications and services. The company is also offering developers remote access to systems equipped with Intel Optane DC persistent memory through its Intel Builders Construction Zone to help develop new software and testing. 

Intel Optane DC persistent memory is sampling now with broad availability expected in 2019.

From Above all:

We can know that Intel's dream of cracking the lucrative server memory market gets one step closer to being realized.Intel took to the stage at its Memory and Storage day to announce the new Intel Optane DC persistent memory.


One way the company hopes to do that is by trying to sell memory modules into the data center.

Today, virtually all data center memory modules are based on a technology known as Dynamic Random-Access Memory, or DRAM. Intel doesn't make DRAM, nor has it publicly signaled an intent to do so anytime soon, but it hopes to capture data center DRAM share by selling memory modules based on its 3D XPoint non-volatile memory technology.

The advantage of these memory modules, according to Intel, is simple: 3D XPoint memory modules can have much greater capacity than DRAM-based memory modules, and 3D XPoint is non-volatile, meaning that data persists in the memory even when power is removed from it (this is why Intel is branding the memory modules Optane DC Persistent Memory). Traditional DRAM is volatile, meaning that the data in the modules goes away when power is removed. 

5.Market Influence

This may also reflect the need to optimize other facets of computing beyond pure CPU performance, possibly as part of pursuing exascale computing, where DRAM power consumption is a major limiting factor. With Qualcomm looking to exit the server business, Intel isn’t facing major heat from ARM in data centers, and AMD’s Epyc ramp, while a competitive threat long-term, isn’t expected to shatter Intel’s server dominance (AMD hopes to take 4-6 percent of the server market this year).This incident will promote further competition in the market. I think this will bring good changes to this technology industry.
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