According to Intel and Micron, a new type of memory chip featuring a technology called 3D XPoint is set to revolutionize the electronics industry by drastically improving the performance of laptops, smartphones, desktops, and other computing devices.
The new chips are “non-volatile,” meaning they are capable of storing data without any power whatsoever, in addition to being upwards of 1,000 times faster than NAND flash memory chips used in most mobile devices.
Not to mention, Intel and Micron’s new chip can reportedly store 10 times more data than the DRAM (dynamic random access memory) chips used in PCs.
So what does all this mean?
Quite simply, Intel and Micron’s new technology, 3D XPoint, represents an alternative to flash and DRAM in regards to storage for a myriad of electronic devices.
While it is important to note that 3D XPoint can’t compete with the speed of DRAM chips, the fact that the chips are non-volatile mean the chips can preserve data even when a device is powered down.
“One of the most significant hurdles in modern computing is the time it takes the processor to reach data on long-term storage,” Mark Adams, president of Micron, said in a statement. “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.”
“This technology could enable a rethinking where and how analytics can be done. Analytics and Big Data today are done in either large monolithic data centers or scale-out data centers,” Patrick Moorhead, president and principal analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy, said.
“This technology enables ‘edge analytics,’ meaning Big Data could be done outside of these kinds of data centers, closer to the data. So instead of doing your processing at an Amazon or Google, you do it in the field,” Moorhead added.
For now, Intel and Micron are keeping many of the details surrounding 3D XPoint technology under wraps as well as the pricing of the new chips.
However, they did say they fully expect to start production at a jointly owned factory in Utah this year.