‘Optane DC Persistent Memory’ Revealed By Intel

A while back, announced the 3D Xpoint Memory, which they branded as the Optane for those looking for storage and server motherboard in Thailand and across the world, which they claimed is the representation of a fundamental leap forward for the computing industry. Definitive evidence of these bold claims haven’t really been popping up, due in part to the difficulties with replacing currently existing memory technologies, as well as the existing memory tech covering such a wide range.

Now, Intel is following up on the release with a new class of Optane that it’s dubbed the Optane DC Persistent Memory, which the company believes will bridge the divide between DRAM and non-volatile storage, while, at the same time, improving on memory per CPU socket capabilities of PC and server motherboard in Thailand and across the world, up to 3TB.

According to a report from Anandtech, the new Optane DC Persistent Memory is pin-compatible with DDR4, and will be offered in packages of up to 512GB for every stick. Systems will be able of pairing Optane caches with smaller DRAM pools, which Intel demonstrated with a Cassandra database running on 256GB of DDR4 RAM, paired with a 1TB Optane DC PM, opposed to the usual 1TB of DRAM.

The new Optane memory modules are only supported by Intel’s newest generation Xeon processor line, so upgrading existing systems with these new modules aren’t likely to happen, save for the most top-of-the-line systems, with AMD EPYC systems or ARM-powered servers using them equally improbably.

A lot of the work behind the new Optane line was via the software side, the new Optane DC Persistent Memory needs optimizations and file systems abstractions in order to function properly. In order to help with that, Intel’s offering cloud access to the systems with the new Optane modules for developers to get their systems working.  In order to gain access, however, test servers much fill up an application form, which says that they’ll receive a 192GB DRAM as well as a minimum of 1TB Optane DC memory.

Intel is promoting Optane for database operations, saying that the Optane DC Persistent Memory provides quick restart speedup compared to the usual DRM-only cold restart, on top of allowing more cost-effective in-memory database solutions.