Intel announces availability of its Optane DC persistent memory DIMMs

midian182

Posts: 8,321   +103
Staff member
Something to look forward to: It’s been nearly three years since Intel and Micron first revealed 3D Xpoint memory. After a long wait, Intel has finally announced the availability of the technology in memory stick form. Called Optane DC persistent memory, the company said it “is sampling today and will ship for revenue to select customers later this year, with broad availability in 2019.”

Like a standard stick of RAM, the modules fit into a motherboard’s DDR4 DIMM slots. Unlike DRAM, they offer persistent storage, even when a system is powered down, and boast ten times the density of DRAM.

The modules will initially be available in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB capacities, and will only be supported on Intel’s next generation of Xeon processors. The company said the capacity and performance of the modules make them perfect for "cost-effective, large-capacity in-memory database solutions."

Intel claims that Optane DC persistent memory can reduce a server’s restart time from minutes to seconds. Early results have also shown that servers running on Optane DIMMs can host more instances and boast a 9.4X increase in database operations per second, with eleven times as many users. It can also secure the persistent data it stores using advanced encryption that’s built into the hardware itself.

“Unlike traditional DRAM, Intel Optane DC persistent memory will offer the unprecedented combination of high-capacity, affordability and persistence. By expanding affordable system memory capacities (greater than 3 terabytes per CPU socket), end customers can use systems enabled with this new class of memory to better optimize their workloads by moving and maintaining larger amounts of data closer to the processor and minimizing the higher latency of fetching data from system storage,” writes Lisa Spelman, Vice President & General Manager Intel Xeon products and Data Center Marketing at Intel.

Intel didn’t give away any specifics regarding Optane DC Persistent Memory, such as its performance numbers, power consumption, and endurance, though it did say the modules would be sufficient for the "expected lifecycle."

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Ravey

Posts: 370   +168
So does this mean that apps set in startup such as malwarebytes and Nvidia Experience would be essentially `pre loaded` to save time loading up the pc as a whole?
 

penn919

Posts: 325   +239
So does this mean that apps set in startup such as malwarebytes and Nvidia Experience would be essentially `pre loaded` to save time loading up the pc as a whole?

That seems to be the idea; however, it's targeted at servers only.

With capacities up to 512GB, Why not "preload" the entire OS?
 

Azshadi

Posts: 55   +53
So does this mean that apps set in startup such as malwarebytes and Nvidia Experience would be essentially `pre loaded` to save time loading up the pc as a whole?

That seems to be the idea; however, it's targeted at servers only.

With capacities up to 512GB, Why not "preload" the entire OS?


Call me paranoid but this would open the door to a whole new class of security issues. But then again this seems like Optane has a purpose now since at this point in time it's just "meh". Again my POV :)
 

stewi0001

Posts: 2,794   +2,587
Call me paranoid but this would open the door to a whole new class of security issues.

I completely agree with you, but I didn't feel like mentioning it earlier lol. Another issue that has come to mind is what if you have a memory leak. Would that get into the persistence memory? I am guessing that Intel might give an option to do a complete flush.
 

Per Hansson

Posts: 1,977   +233
Staff member
I don't get this part: "Intel claims that Optane DC persistent memory can reduce a server’s restart time from minutes to seconds."
Sure if you run the OS from 3D Xpoint memory it will reboot fast: because it can't, it's not volatile memory, or what am I missing here?
 

Badvok

Posts: 352   +181
I don't get this part: "Intel claims that Optane DC persistent memory can reduce a server’s restart time from minutes to seconds."
Sure if you run the OS from 3D Xpoint memory it will reboot fast: because it can't, it's not volatile memory, or what am I missing here?
It's hardly surprising that people will get confused by this, think of it more as a RAM disk that doesn't get destroyed when the machine reboots. It should be considered as storage rather than dynamic memory even though it comes in a package like DRAM. That's why you need the new Xeon to handle the distinction.
 

Per Hansson

Posts: 1,977   +233
Staff member
I'm not confused by how it works, I'm confused by how the marketing team brands it.
Obviously reboot speed will not be affected as the OS will be kept in ordinary RAM.
So that only leaves the case where the server has no ordinary RAM, and instead uses Xpoint memory.
But then it would be impossible to reboot it, when the BIOS finishes it's thing you would be back to your previous work.
Exactly like using sleep mode or hibernation mode, but that's not a reboot!
Any issues you where trying to solve, or kernel you where trying to update wont have been updated.
 

flipp3r

Posts: 31   +10
When I saw the photo my thought was "that looks like server ram from 20 years ago".
And then I hit the word Xeon. Doh!
 

HardReset

Posts: 1,749   +1,415
No performance benchmarks. No power consumption numbers. No specific endurance numbers. No mention about price. Meaning:

Performance is crap, power consumption is huge, endurance is so bad it won't last long, price is so huge nobody will buy it.

Overall: it just sucks. 1000 faster than NAND and 1000 times endurance vs NAND my *** "(y)"
 

Danny101

Posts: 2,026   +841
It would make a better cache memory setup, if it was faster than SSD drives. Otherwise, seems a bit pointless.If a computer or sever is restarted because of memory errors, it would stand to reason memory errors would creep in here too. I don't know.
 

Mugsy

Posts: 772   +203
Simplisticly speaking, it seems like not being able to wipe the memory with a simple reboot to resolve any existing problems (corrupted memory, errant programs, etc) would be a *bad* thing, no?

A "wipe" feature/option would certainly be needed.
 

centrino207

Posts: 160   +10
I don't get this part: "Intel claims that Optane DC persistent memory can reduce a server’s restart time from minutes to seconds."
Sure if you run the OS from 3D Xpoint memory it will reboot fast: because it can't, it's not volatile memory, or what am I missing here?
It's hardly surprising that people will get confused by this, think of it more as a RAM disk that doesn't get destroyed when the machine reboots. It should be considered as storage rather than dynamic memory even though it comes in a package like DRAM. That's why you need the new Xeon to handle the distinction.

Because RAM will not keep data if the system restarts or shuts down or have no power.

What they seem to be making is RAM that keeps data even when you restart the computer or shut down or no power.

That where he said is this DRAM or what type RAM is this because this changes every thing.

In the future RAM and SSD may merge if this is the way they are going.