How Intel® Optane™ and Intel® 3d Nand Can Banish Data Bottlenecks

The unique combination of these two innovations can cut overall memory costs.

Data is an essential resource in the digital era and the ability to process it effectively is vital. The ever-increasing amount of data that is generated by businesses across all industries, from healthcare and sport to manufacturing and telecoms, enables them to thrive. But legacy infrastructure and ageing memory technology can present a major obstacle. In order to avoid data bottlenecks caused by outdated systems, a new approach is needed.

“We must enable our customers to break the bottlenecks in real-time data access and to store more data in an affordable, easily accessible manner that creates value for their businesses”

Memory tiering involves assigning different types of data to various types of storage media in order to reduce overall storage costs. Two innovative technologies from Intel enable businesses to do this by implementing a new hierarchy of storage and memory. “We must enable our customers to break the bottlenecks in real-time data access and to store more data in an affordable, easily accessible manner that creates value for their businesses”, explains Rob Crooke, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group at Intel, in a blog post.

The first of these two complementary memory innovations is Intel® Optane™, which was launched last year. This is a revolutionary technology that combines the attributes of both memory and storage. By plugging the technology gap between DRAM, fast but expensive, and NAND, dense and non-volatile but slow, with Intel® Optane™ technology, businesses can gain significant boosts in performance as well as cutting infrastructure costs. Optane memory is non-volatile and also offers low latency and the opportunity to reduce overall memory costs.

Intel® Optane™ combines a next-generation, non-volatile memory called 3D XPoint Memory with Intel’s advanced system memory controllers, along with interface software and hardware enhancements. 3D XPoint technology enables two different tiers of memory for the data centre – Intel® Optane™ DC Persistent Memory and Intel® Optane™ DC Solid State Drive. The former enables a large, persistent memory tier between DRAM and SSDs that’s fast and affordable. This improves memory capacity and optimises workloads by placing data in the optimal tier to maximise performance. It can be used in conjunction with Intel® Optane™ DC Solid State Drive, which improves SSD performance.

Shaking up the world of computing with an unparalleled combination of speed, density, and non-volatility, the Intel® Optane™ can be deployed in a number of ways, catering for businesses of all sizes, from data centre to desktop.

Intel® Optane™ DC can also be used in conjunction with a second memory innovation known as Intel® 3D NAND Technology, which was developed in response to the industry’s growing demand for data storage capacity. 3D NAND is designed on a floating gate architecture with a smaller cell size than other NAND options. It also has a highly efficient memory array that enables higher capacity and reliability.

Vertical layering of 3D NAND enables higher density than traditional 2D NAND technology, along with scalability for the future. Intel offers a portfolio of 3D NAND SSDs to meet a variety of needs including the demands of the cloud-based data centre and enterprise. “This is the first time that we have delivered two very different, yet complementary, memory technologies that work remarkably well together – allowing system architects to redesign compute and storage,” said Crooke.

The unique combination of these two innovative technologies provides businesses with an opportunity to completely reimagine storage and memory hierarchy strategies. This can help them to remove data bottlenecks and reduce overall operational costs, enabling them to thrive in today’s data-driven landscape.

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