Intel and Micron launch new class of memory chip

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Intel and Micron launch new class of memory chip

Up to 1000 times faster than NAND.

Intel and Micron announced today the production plans for a new breed of memory chips that could bring dramatic performance gains to computers, smartphones and other mobile devices.

Unveiled during a press event in San Francisco, the technology has been dubbed 3D XPoint and will be on sale next year.

According to Intel and Micron, these chips are non-volatile, are up to 1000 faster than NAND flash memory chips used in most mobile devices; and can store ten times more data than the DRAM chips used in PCs.

Although 3D Point won't match the speed of DRAM chips, it is non-volatile and the new chips will have the ability, like NAND flash, to preserve data even when a device is powered down.

“One of the most significant hurdles in modern computing is the time it takes the processor to reach data on long-term storage,” Mark Adams, president of Micron, said in a statement. “This new class of non-volatile memory is a revolutionary technology that allows for quick access to enormous data sets and enables entirely new applications.”

Intel and Micron hope the new chips’ speed will spur new kinds of applications and benefit apps requiring fast, analytics power such as in the areas of voice recognition, financial fraud detection and the study of genes.

Intel and Micron did not divulge the materials they used in creating 3D XPoint, stating the information was proprietary. 

The two companies expect to start production at a jointly owned factory in Utah later this year. Pricing for the new chips wasn’t disclosed.

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