Intel, Micron reveal 3D XPoint memory 1,000 times faster than modern storage2015-07-29 09:52 by Daniela
Intel and Micron have announced a new breakthrough in the world of memory chips. They have built a 3D architecture called 3D XPoint memory that's up to 1,000-times faster than existing NAND technology.
The innovation forms a new memory tier between DRAM and NAND. It is a radical resistive-RAM technology that is bit-addressable and non-volatile. That means software can access it far more easily and quickly than block-based flash – and the chips are energy-independent, just like a hard drive.
It's called 3D XPoint memory because it has two layers – that's the 3D angle – and crosspoint because the 1-bit cells are located at the intersections of word lines and bit lines, meaning the cells can be addressed individually. Memory cells are accessed and written or read by varying the amount of voltage sent to a selector. This eliminates the need for transistors, increasing capacity while reducing cost.
"This is something many people thought was impossible, and many people gave up trying to accomplish," reflected Rob Crooke, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group, during a media presentation on Tuesday morning.
The first chips will be tested later this year and are expected to emerge on the market next year. Intel hopes 3D XPoint will find its way into machine learning and real-time data analysis applications as well as in gaming industry.
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