Jul 29, 2015 02:00 AM EDT
Intel and Micron are teaming up to design faster, bigger-capacity chips that can store data even without power.
Intel and Micron describe the chips’ capacity to store data even without power as “non-volatile.” The new technology, dubbed “3D XPoint,” has potential use as an alternative to or replacement for DRAM or flash storage. While the chips are not as fast as DRAM chips, it has the capacity to retain data even when the device is turned off. These chips can store 10 times the data on DRAM chips, which may give rise to a new class of applications altogether.
The 3D XPoint technology is up to 1000x faster than NAND flash memory chips currently used in mobile devices. This feature, combined with the capacity to hold 10x the capacity of DRAM chips, along with the feature of being able to store data even when powered down, could allow a processor to be able to call up data even faster. This capacity to reach enormous amounts of data at a shorter time may allow OEMs to create faster, lighter, more durable devices.
This innovation may have applications for personal computing devices ranging from smartphones to laptops, and even desktops. Imagine a world powered by smaller, lighter, non-volatile memory chips. This will certainly give rise to faster, more energy-efficient, lighter, space-saving devices.
More than that, this new technology may have applications in the field of Analytics and Big Data. With its light footprint and capacity to store large amounts of data, the processing could be offloaded from large data centers and onto the field, as data is being gathered real-time.
Intel and Micron are going to start the production of the chips by the end of this year, but experts are projecting that the market uptake of the new technology may be a long way off yet. However, as bleeding edge technology in the $78.5 billion memory chip industry, creating and rolling out this memory solution may be one of the best moves for Intel and Micron.
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