Intel and Micron Team on New Class of Memory Tech

A new non-volatile computing memory technology unveiled today has the potential to revolutionize devices, apps and services that require fast access to large amounts of data, according to Intel and Micron Technology. Called 3D XPoint, the technology marks the first breakthrough in memory process technology since NAND flash memory was introduced in 1989, the companies said.

3D XPoint offers performance that's up to 1,000 times faster than NAND, according to Intel and Micron. It's the equivalent of reducing the average flight time from San Francisco to Beijing from 12 hours to 43 seconds, they said.

Now in production, 3D XPoint is also 10 times denser than conventional memory and has up to 1,000 times as much endurance as NAND. Intel and Micron said the new technology can help businesses and other organizations keep up with the rapidly exploding volumes of digital data being generated, and it can also enhance experiences in gaming, social media and online collaboration.

Overcoming a 'Most Significant Hurdle'

"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."

Intel and Micron said they invested more than a decade of research and development into building the 3D XPoint technology. It's 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 companies said.

The transistor-less 3D XPoint is built on an architecture resembling a three-dimensional checkerboard, where memory cells sit at the intersection of word lines and bit lines. That structure allows each memory cell to be addressed...

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