Optane Rides Again: New Intel Datacenter Drives Incoming

Intel
(Image credit: Intel)

After Intel's partner Micron ceased to develop the 3D XPoint memory used for Intel's Optane-branded products and sold the fab in Lehi, Utah to Texas Instruments, the destiny of Intel's Optane SSDs and memory modules was completely unclear. Yet it looks like the company is prepping at least one more Optane SSD family.

Intel has validated its Optane SSD DC P5810X and Optane SSD DC P5811X with the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (which serves as the main validator of NVMe-compliant SSDs and controllers). Both drives will use NVMe 1.4-compliant controllers and feature a PCIe 4.0 interface. That last is a bit surprising, as Intel is about to launch PCIe 5.0-supporting Sapphire Rapids platform for datacenters. The P5810X will come in a 2.5-inch U.2 form-factor, whereas the P5811X will use a ruler E1.S form-factor.

Considering that the new Optane SSD DCs will carry the P5800-series model numbers, it is reasonable to expect them to be similar to last year's Optane SSD DC P5800X, though we have no idea what the difference between the upcoming and existing drives for datacenters will be.

(Image credit: Intel)

Last year, Intel significantly reshaped its Optane portfolio as production of 3D XPoint memory by Micron was about to end and the future of this memory type is unknown. First, Intel canned consumer-oriented Optane SSDs. Then, it axed the previous-generation Optane SSD DC P4800X-series drives. The company launched its Optane SSC DC P5800X-series products (which appear to be the fastest SSDs ever made as of July 2021), but it does not look like it actually started to ship their top-of-the-range 3.2TB version.

Keeping in mind that Intel's Optane-branded SSDs are now only offered for datacenters and it is unclear whether Intel is getting any 3D XPoint supply, we do not expect Intel to release any more consumer-oriented Optane drives in the near future, at least until the company manages to get more memory. To that end, the new the new Optane SSD DC P5810X and Optane SSD DC P5811X may well be the company's final Optane drives.

Anton Shilov
Freelance News Writer

Anton Shilov is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Over the past couple of decades, he has covered everything from CPUs and GPUs to supercomputers and from modern process technologies and latest fab tools to high-tech industry trends.