As products featuring Intel and Micron's joint venture 3D XPoint storage chips get closer to market, the claims surrounding them seem to have gotten less and less audacious. Intel is reportedly targeting Optane at server platforms and small-capacity cache devices, rather than full-sized SSDs, on the desktop.
We now have a better idea of how an Optane datacenter device might perform, at least. Tom's Hardware reports that several Chinese-language media outlets have obtained performance specifications for the purported P4800X device, a 375GB 3D XPoint PCIe SSD designed for data centers. The P4800X's peak sequential throughput is comparable to NAND NVMe devices, but the device's reported latency and endurance figures are a big step forward from existing SSDs.
Intel claims 2400 MB/s sequential reads and 2000 MB/s sequential writes for the P4800X, which are competitve but not revolutionary. Intel's current 400 GB P3700 drive achieves sequential speeds up to 2800 MB/s when reading and 2000 MB/s when writing. The 3D XPoint device's reported 550,000 4K read IOPS is another nice improvement, but it's not a huge leap over the 400 GB P3700's 460,000 figure, either.
The 3D XPoint device shines when we examine some other specifications. The 375GB P4800X can reportedly achieve 500,000 4K write IOPS, compared to the P3700's more pedestrian 175,000. The P4800X's reported 10µs latency is half of the older drive's specification, too. The P4800X could also boast 30 drive writes per day of endurance. The P3700 touts a 17 DWPD figure, which is already quite high for a NAND SSD. Intel's previous-generation P3600 was rated for a scant 3 drive write cycles per day.
The P4800X is reportedly run by an Intel controller and firmware. Pricing and availability were not a part of the leaked information, but we suspect Intel will demand a hefty premium for the improved latency and endurance the drives appear to have on tap.
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