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3D XPoint

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Title: 3D XPoint  
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Subject: Citation overkill, NVDIMM, Non-volatile random-access memory, EPROM, Magnetoresistive random-access memory
Collection: Citation Overkill, Computer Memory, Intel Products, Non-Volatile Memory
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3D XPoint

3D XPoint, (pronounced three dee cross point[1]) is a non-volatile memory technology announced by Intel and Micron in July 2015. Though details of the materials and physics of operation were not disclosed, storage density is claimed to be similar to flash memory,[2][3] durability better and operating speed faster than flash memory though slower than dynamic RAM.[4] Bit storage is based on a change of bulk resistance,[5] in conjunction with a stackable cross-gridded data access array.


  • History 1
  • Description 2
  • Availability 3
  • See also 4
  • Notes 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Development of 3D XPoint began around 2005.[6] Intel and Micron had developed other non-volatile phase-change memory (PCM) technologies previously;[note 1] Mark Durcan of Micron said 3D XPoint architecture differs from previous offerings of PCM, and uses materials that are faster and more stable.[8] An unnamed commentator from marketing also denied that 3D XPoint uses a phase-change or memristor technology.[9]


3D XPoint uses electrical resistance and is bit addressable.[10] 3D XPoint operation is "not based on electrons," and could speculatively be based on phase-change memory.[11] Similarities to the resistive random-access memory under development by Crossbar Inc. have been noted, but 3D XPoint storage physics is different.[6] 3D XPoint developers indicate that it is based on "changes in resistance of the bulk material.”[5] Intel CEO Brian Krzanich responded to ongoing questions on the XPoint material that the switching was based on "bulk material properties" [12] which are observed in special materials for storage [13] and selector [14] parts of memory cell.

Claimed write durability is up to 1,000 times higher than flash memory,[15][16][17][18] and claimed latency in an SSD using NVM Express and PCI Express is 10 times lower than NAND SSDs.[19] Individual data cells do not need a transistor, so packing density will be 8-10 times greater than DRAM, and similar to NAND.[10][20]

Small quantities of 128 Gbit chips were made initially in 2015 at a wafer fab in Lehi, Utah, operated by IM Flash Technologies LLC. Each chip stacks two 64 Gbit planes.


Production volumes of both SSD (PCIe) and DIMM form factors are expected to reach market in 2016,[21][6] and the anticipated price per bit is higher than NAND and lower than DRAM.[22]

See also


  1. ^ Intel and Numonyx presented 64 Gb stackable PCM chips in 2009.[7]


  1. ^ "3D XPoint™ Technology Revolutionizes Storage Memory", (video, infomercial) (Intel) 
  2. ^ "Intel, Micron reveal Xpoint, a new memory architecture that could outclass DDR4 and NAND - ExtremeTech". ExtremeTech. Intel claims that ... the technology can be scaled to match NAND’s density in a similar footprint. 
  3. ^ "2015: 3D XPoint Technology". p. last slide, lower left chart, titled performance and density. 
  4. ^ Lucas Mearian (29 July 2015). "The new memory from Intel and Micron will do to SSDs what SSDs did to disk drives". Computerworld. The new memory is still about five to eight times slower than DRAM. It's not as fast as DRAM, so it's not going to replace it in the most latency-valued applications 
  5. ^ a b Clarke, Peter (28 July 2015), "Intel, Micron Launch "Bulk-Switching" ReRAM",, "The switching mechanism is via changes in resistance of the bulk material," was all Intel would add in response to questions sent via email. 
  6. ^ a b c Clarke, Peter (28 July 2015), "Intel, Micron Launch "Bulk-Switching" ReRAM", 
  7. ^ McGrath, Dylan (28 Oct 2009), "Intel, Numonyx claim phase-change memory milestone", 
  8. ^ Clarke, Peter (31 July 2015), "Patent Search Supports View 3D XPoint Based on Phase-Change", 
  9. ^ "Just ONE THOUSAND times BETTER than FLASH! Intel, Micron's amazing claim". The Register. 28 July 2015. Retrieved 26 August 2015. 
  10. ^ a b "Intel, Micron reveal Xpoint, a new memory architecture that could outclass DDR4 and NAND - ExtremeTech". ExtremeTech. 
  11. ^ Neale, Ron (14 Aug 2015), "Imagining What’s Inside 3D XPoint", 
  12. ^ Intel CEO interview after IDF
  13. ^ Storage part material
  14. ^ Selector part material
  15. ^ "Intel, Micron debut 3D XPoint storage technology that's 1,000 times faster than current SSDs". CNET. CBS Interactive. 
  16. ^ "3D Xpoint memory: Faster-than-flash storage unveiled". BBC News. 
  17. ^ Stephen Lawson (28 July 2015). "Intel and Micron unveil 3D XPoint -- a new class of memory". Computerworld. 
  18. ^ Gordon Mah Ung (28 July 2015). "Intel, Micron announce new 3D XPoint memory type that's 1,000 times faster than NAND". PCWorld. 
  19. ^ Michael J. Miller (2015-08-21). "Intel Details 3D XPoint Memory, Future Products". ~10x reduction in latency vs. NAND SSD 
  20. ^ "2015: 3D XPoint Technology". p. last slide, lower left chart, titled performance and density. 
  21. ^ Smith, Ryan (18 August 2015), "Intel Announces Optane Storage Brand For 3D XPoint Products",, products will be available in 2016, in both standard SSD (PCIe) form factors for everything from Ultrabooks to servers, and in a DIMM form factor for Xeon systems for even greater bandwidth and lower latencies. As expected, Intel will be providing storage controllers optimized for the 3D XPoint memory 
  22. ^ "Intel and Micron Unveil 3D XPoint Memory, 1000x Speed and Endurance Over Flash". 2015-07-28. Intel's Rob Crooke explained, 'You could put the cost somewhere between NAND and DRAM.' 

External links

  • "Intel Micron Webcast", , 44 mins

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