Intel and Micron Produce Breakthrough Memory Technology
By   |  September 11, 2015

Announced earlier this year, Intel and Micron will begin production on 3D Xpoint, a new class of non-volatile memory, creating the first new memory category in more than 25 years.

3D XPoint technology brings non-volatile memory speeds up to 1,000 times Faster than NAND, the most popular non-volatile memory in the marketplace today. The companies invented unique material compounds and a cross point architecture for a memory technology that is 10 times denser than conventional memory.3D XPoint technology is a major breakthrough in memory process technology and the first new memory category since the introduction of NAND flash in 1989.

The explosion of connected devices and digital services is generating massive amounts of new data. To make this data useful, it must be stored and analyzed very quickly, creating challenges for service providers and system builders who must balance cost, power and performance tradeoffs when they design memory and storage solutions. 3D XPoint technology combines the performance, density, power, non-volatility and cost advantages of all available memory technologies on the market today. The technology is up to 1,000 times faster and has up to 1,000 times greater endurance than NAND, and is 10 times denser than conventional memory.

“For decades, the industry has searched for ways to reduce the lag time between the processor
and data to allow much faster analysis,” said Rob Crooke, senior vice president and general
manager of Intel’s Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group. “This new class of non-volatile
memory achieves this goal and brings game-changing performance to memory and storage

“One of the most significant hurdles in modern computing is the time it takes the processor to
reach data on long-term storage,” said Mark Adams, president of Micron. “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.”

As the digital world quickly grows – from 4.4 zettabytes of digital data created in 2013 to an
expected 44 zettabytes by 2020, 3D XPoint technology can turn this immense amount of data
into valuable information in nanoseconds. Businesses could use this new capacity to more quickly identify fraud detection patterns in financial transactions; healthcare researchers could process and analyze larger data sets in real time, accelerating complex tasks such as genetic analysis and disease tracking.

New Recipe, Architecture for Breakthrough Memory Technology

Following more than a decade of research and development, 3D XPoint technology was built from the ground up to address the need for non-volatile, high-performance, high-endurance and high-capacity storage and memory at an affordable cost. It ushers in a new class of non-volatile memory that significantly reduces latencies, allowing much more data to be stored close to the processor and accessed at speeds previously impossible for non-volatile storage.

The innovative, transistor-less cross point architecture creates a three-dimensional checkerboard where memory cells sit at the intersection of word lines and bit lines, allowing the cells to be addressed individually. As a result, data can be written and read in small sizes, leading to faster and more efficient read/write processes.

3D XPoint technology will sample later this year with select customers, and Intel and Micron are
developing individual products based on the technology.

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