Monday, March 14, 2016

Intel's new Optane memory technology could lead to 1000 times faster MacBook storage


Optane Launching New Ultra-Fast Memory Technology

In 2017, Intel and Micron branded as Optane would be launching a new ultra-fast memory technology which would overlay the way for a much faster storage on Apple’s MacBooks. Optane is said to be compatible with the NVMe storage procedure which Apple tends to use in some of the MacBook, known by Macworld, which means that it can be relatively easy for Apple to change and benefit from the new technology. Optane is considered to provide speeds 1,000 times faster as well as more durable than the common flash storage on using 3D Xpoint technology which is due to its 10 times denser than DRAM.

The Non-volatile Memory Express support in new 12-inch MacBook had been launched by Apple enabling it with a software update to OS X last April. NVMe is destined to replace old AHCI technology that had been designed for maximum performance in systems utilising spinning hard drives. NVMe is adjusted for operation of lower latency provided by solid state media or non-volatile memory. NVMe, when compared to AHCI tends to reduce latency by around 50%. Intel for instance puts latency overhead in SCSI/SAS systems at 6 nanoseconds at 19,500 cycles though quotes NVMe at 2.8 nanoseconds at 9,100 cycles – PDF link.

NVMe – Designed to Scale over Next Decade

Moreover, NVMe is designed to scale over the next decade, a lifecycle which is comparable to AHCI that had been introduced in 2004. Since 2011, Apple had been using the PCIe transport procedure; the company seems to be in a good position to expeditiously extend support over the complete line-up of Mac. Regarding the super-fast Optane memory and SSD products, Intel had been silent, though some emerging details could hit at how they could be utilised in products such as Apple’s MacBooks. Optane is said to be a brand name for the latest kind of memory and SSD based on 3D Xpoint, which is a jointly developed technology by Intel and Micron that is 10 times denser than DRAM and 1,000 times faster as well as more durable than flash storage. The 3D Xpoint technology is likely to be released soon would be compatible with NVMe, which is a super-fast storage protocol that could be helpful for Optane in attaining its intense speeds.

Apple – First to Implement The Latest Laptop Technologies

Some of the MacBooks already tend to have NVMe based SSDs with Optane providing a further speed enhancement. Among the first vendors in implementing the latest laptop technologies is Apple and it could take the opportunity of putting Optane in its MacBooks. Apple had been the first to implement Thunderbolt as well as processor technologies from Intel. The first products of Optane would be SSDs; reaching supporter’s PCs next year and later would spread to the other desktops as well as mobile products. Optane memory DIMMs that can be plugged in prevailing memory slots would also be coming along. Optane products would first be based on Intel’s Skylake architecture and if Intel tends to ship memory DIMMs, they would need to be compatible with the DDR3/4 DRAM bus which is in most of the present PCs. Some of the Windows laptops also tend to have NVMe storage though most of them depend on the older and slower SATA interface. Fanatic desktop users like the gamers tend to be early adopters of the new technology and several of them would probably move over to Optane.

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