At its big developer conference, Intel showed off some actual chip technology that could make a big leap in computing.
The Intel 3D XPoint memory technology was developed over a decade in partnership with Micron Technology. Today, Intel chief executive Brian Krzanich showed a working demo of the Intel Optane memory that uses the 3D XPoint technology.
Krzanich, speaking at the Intel Developer Forum, said that the new three-dimensional memory is 1,000 times faster than the fastest solid-state drive that uses NAND flash memory — the fastest permanent storage memory technology available today. The new chips also have 1,000 times the endurance of NAND and 10 times the density of dynamic random access memory. That latter fact means that it is a low-cost technology that can also fit in tiny devices.
Krzanich said that Intel would launch software development kits and working samples later this year and deliver products in 2016. He said it will be useful in everything from laptops to data centers.
In a live demo of an early prototype of Optane, he showed it was 7.23 times faster than today’s fastest SSD chips.
“This was one of the best IDF keynotes I have viewed in a decade,” said Patrick Moorhead, analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy. “While short on product news, they did make a compelling case for Intel in numerous and very important usage models in computer vision, smart retail, and even wearables. This seems like a very determined and different Intel versus the last few years. I’m looking forward this week to drilling in on the exact Intel technologies at work.”