Intel Getting Ready to Release Optane DC Persistent Memory

Apr 29, 2019

Intel has entered server memory market with a next-generation memory that combines strengths of a DRAM and a NAND flash memory. Some predict that this new memory can establish a new memory ecosystem as it is compatible with server CPUs that are practically monopolized by Intel. Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix are also making necessary preparations to deal with this new product of Intel.
Intel introduced its strategic product called ‘Optane DC Persistent Memory’ at a presentation for new data center products that was held at Intel Korea’s company building in Yeooui-do on the 26th.
This product was released to challenge strongholds of Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix that have the highest market shares in data center memory market. Intel once stated that Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix are its competitors.
Although this product looks similar as a DRAM, its function is completely different from that of a DRAM. Although it has slower information processing speed than a DRAM, it is able to remember information even when power is off just like a NAND flash memory. It is the first product that is based on strengths of both a DRAM and a NAND flash memory.
“Although it is slower than a DRAM, it has better competitive price, and it can store necessary information even when power is off.” said a representative for Intel.
In addition, it has better speed and durability, which have been brought up as weaknesses of a NAND flash memory, than a NAND flash memory through ‘3D XPoint’ technology that had been co-developed by Intel and Micron for many years. It has 1000 times faster processing speed and higher durability than a NAND flash memory.
Industries see ‘Optane DC Persistent Memory’ as a ‘PRAM’ product that is seen as a next-generation memory.
“We have never announced that Optane DC Persistent Memory is a PRAM product and we will not make such announcement in the future as well.” said Intel. However, it goes with characteristics of a PRAM from an aspect that it is based on strengths of both a DRAM and a NAND flash memory.

Director Na Seung-joo of Intel Korea is giving a presentation. <Director Na Seung-joo of Intel Korea is giving a presentation.>

Experts believe that this product is made to shake dynamics of memory market as Intel grabs upper hands of next-generation memory market. Industries believe that memory market will enter a new state if Intel, which has 95% shares of server CPU market, continues to release Optane Memory products that emphasize compatibility.
“If Intel continues to put out server CPUs that are only compatible with its Optane Memory, it will be able to quickly catch up to Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix.” said a representative for the industry.
Actually, Intel mentioned compatibility between Optane DC Persistent Memory and most of 50 types of second-generation server CPUs that were newly released earlier this month.
As Intel prepares to enter next-generation memory market, it is heard that Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix are also making necessary preparations.
“Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix will not just stand still with possible changes to market dynamics and such move by Intel.” said a representative for the industry. “We heard that Samsung Electronics has recently started adding necessary personnel to release PRAM products.”
“It is true that we are developing PRAM products and we are going to release them when relevant markets open up.” said a representative for SK Hynix.
Staff Reporter Kang, Haeryung | kang@etnews.com

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