Intel-Micron 3D XPoint At Xroads

New Details From IDF

Intel Optane

One thing Intel formally announced at IDF was the 3D XPoint product branding, specifically on the storage side—that is, a 3D XPoint device that presents itself as block storage. The products that will emerge with the Optane branding will not only use 3D XPoint, but will come with optimized controllers, interfaces and software. Those products will come in the SSD form factors, namely add-in cards (AIC), M.2 and U.2 flavors.

Intel left out a few details, which drew the bewildered looks and baffled questions, but we’ll address them in the next section.


Our initial thought was that Intel would target enterprise applications, like in-memory databases and big data. During IDF, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, Crooke and Fazio continued to talk about these applications, particularly giving examples like advanced fraud detection and algorithmic financial trading.

However, this time around, Intel also made a point of talking about its applicability in games and professional workloads like 4K video editing. For gaming, Crooke talked about the ability to load bigger portions of games in a 3D XPoint scenario, thus eliminating the need for developers and players to break or load games in levels.

Fritz Nelson
Fritz Nelson is Editor-at-Large of Tom's Hardware US.