Back To Square One
A few final notes. We’re obviously anxious to see 3D XPoint in action, and to tell you more about it. We’ll keep pursuing both ends, but it will undoubtedly be a while. Intel and Micron are walking a very interesting and fine line here.
One of the best things Intel did at IDF was to repeat the mantra that 3D XPoint is both bigger memory and faster storage. It doesn’t really unmuddle its future, but it says more exactly what it is—low-latency storage and high-capacity DRAM. Just how far Intel and Micron push the boundaries of latency and capacity will determine how additive or substitutive it will be to the lucrative NAND and DRAM products.
During Micron's winter analyst meeting earlier this year the company showed slides pointing to a 2015/2016 Memory A and a 2017/2018 Memory B. Micron is vocally positioning "Memory B" as its high-performance non-volatile memory product.
When pressed, Crooke claimed not to know anything about a Gen 2 or Memory B, but it’s there clear as day. Either Crooke is being coy, or Intel isn't invested in the forthcoming Memory B. The plot thickens.
At Micron's follow-on Summer Analyst Conference it presented an updated chart that also details the emergence of Memory B, but this time listed as "EM Gen 1" (Emerging Memory). This new form of memory will come after IMFT is already rolling second-generation 3D XPoint.
Every unearthed detail only uncovers more questions, further highlighting how little we actually know about IMFTs 3D XPoint.
In the media we feast on the bafflement and bewilderment, so these are exciting times. I take my sliced bread toasted, with butter and jam...
Fritz Nelson is the Editor-In-Chief of Tom's Hardware.