There is something a thousand times faster than the already speedy “flash” memory and it is the new memory chip designed jointly by Intel and Micron.
The spinning disk drive is already outdated and if the new invention by Intel-Micron is anything to go by, flash/solid state drives, based on NAND technology, will follow the same path. The new memory chip is built on a 3-D design that allows computers to store and extract individual packets of data at 1000 times the speed of a flash drive. Because of its density, it can also hold the same amount of data in a smaller shape and space.
According to its creators, 3D XPoint (pronoun nced ‘cross point’) has 10 times the storage capacity of DRAM (dynamic random access memory) giving it an edge over all existing memory chips in the market today. Unlike DRAM, it does not require a constant power flow which means it can not only analyze and process massive volumes of data but also improve the performance of its host device. According to Intel, each XPoint die can store 128GB of data, the chip comprises a pair of dies (sheets of semiconductor in the chip)
Explaining the breakthrough, Micron’s president Mark Adams said, “One of the most significant hurdles in modern computing is the time it takes the processor to reach data on long-term storage. This new class of non-volatile memory is a revolutionary technology that allows for quick access to enormous data sets and enables entirely new applications.”
If the new chip is put into production, it will mean the additional development of a new kind of motherboard technology as none of the current ones have a bus speed to match. The temporary solution will be to connect them to the PCI Express ports on a computer. Currently, production plans are scheduled for next year at Micron’s Utah plant.