Speaking at the Flash Memory Summit, Micron's vice president of storage solutions, Jon Carter, revealed that the company will ship its first 3D XPoint based products in the second quarter of 2017. This will entail QuantX solid state disks for the data center market, consumer applications aren't likely to arrive soon due to massive difference in cost versus the NAND flash memory technology.
Intel and Micron announced 3D XPoint over a year ago but it appears the roll-out will be rather slow. Micron says there will be some products in 2017, with 2018 being a "bigger year" and 2019 beind the "break-out" year in terms of revenue. Intel is expected to ship its first Optane SSDs towards the end of the year or in early 2017.
The new 3D XPoint memory promises to offer ten times lower latency than NAND flash memory, while also offering up to ten times higher IOPS at up to 32 queues. For consumers applications, pricing will the big issue. No firm details were shared about how much QuantX disks would cost, but Micron said 3D XPoint products will be "about half the price of DRAM, but around four to five times more expensive than NAND flash".
3D XPoint is primarily a mass storage-class memory that, while slower, is cheaper to produce than DRAM and vastly faster than NAND. So, the memory will likely fit into the data center as a replacement for some NAND flash and DRAM. Significantly, it's non-volatile, so when the power goes off, the data remains intact, just as it does with NAND flash.
PC Perspective shot photos of three performance slides that were shown at the conference:
Ok, now that's just insane! While the queue had to climb to ~8 to reach these figures, that's 1.8 MILLION IOPS from a single HHHL add in card. That's greater than 7 GB/s worth of 4KB random performance!