Intel yesterday revealed Optane DC Persistent Memory that should fill the gap between DRAM and SSDs. The modules can fit in regular DDR4 slots. Combined with future Intel Xeon Platinum processors, system restart times can be decreased from minutes to seconds, Intel claims.
Optane Persistent Memory modules are based on Intel and Micron’s jointly developed 3D XPoint technology and will be available in capacities of 128GB, 256GB and 512GB. The Optane DIMMs will retain their data when the system is powered off, but they offer a much higher data transfer rate than even the fastest NVMe SSDs. They can’t be used to replace RAM, because while they are much faster than SSDs, they are still much slower than RAM memory.
Intel markets the Optane Persistent Memory modules as a way to bring more data closer to the processor which should decrease the latencies involved with retrieving data from SSDs.
The modules will become available for select customers this year and broad availability is scheduled for 2019.
Intel offers companies a preview to see what the new technology can do by providing remote access to a system contained the Optane Persistent Memory DC modules. That system will contain 2 Intel Xeon Scalable CPUs, 192GB DRAM, at least 1 TB of Optane Persistent Memory, a SATA SSD, a NVMe SSD and an Optane NVMe SSD.