Intel’s new class of memory has speeds 1,000 times faster than flash

Intel Corp. and Micron Technology claim to have invented a new class of memory, and if the specs are to be believed, it could be the next big thing.

Called 3D XPoint and now in production is non-volatile, with speeds of 1,000 times faster than flash, and ten times more dense than conventional memory, according to Intel.

“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,” Intel said in a statement.

It boasted that the technology, which is a result of over a decade of research and development, also has 1,000 more endurance than NAND, which is seeing increased market adoption today.

3D XPoint
3D XPoint memory architecture

The name of the new technology comes from its three-dimensional checkerboard-like shape, which has no transistors.

“Memory cells sit at the intersection of word lines and bit lines, allowing the cells to be addressed individually,” the company said. “As a result, data can be written and read in small sizes, leading to faster and more efficient read/write processes.”

The companies are envisioning applications ranging from machine learning to instant data analytics, fraud detection, healthcare and disease tracking and even 8K gaming.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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