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Intel demos 3D XPoint Optane file copy operations at 2GB/s

by Mark Tyson on 15 April 2016, 11:31

Tags: Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), Micron (NASDAQ:MU)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qacz7n

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The Intel Developer Forum, IDF 2016, in Shenzhen, China wrapped up yesterday. One of the highlights of the conference was an on-stage demonstration of Intel Optane technology. Rob Crooke, Intel VP for Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group (NSG), joined Ian Yang, President of Intel China, to show Intel Optane tech leveraged in a Thunderbolt 3 backup device. Crooke and Yang demonstrated the world of difference in backing up TLC-based SATA SSD based systems compared to Intel Optane tech based systems.

According to Tom's Hardware the comparison backup systems were as follows:

  • NAND SSD System: A PC with two Intel SATA SSDs transferred a movie from the host machine to a Thunderbolt 3-connected device using another Intel SATA SSD. The devices 'likely' utilised Intel's recently announced SSD 540 or 5400 Series business-class drives.
  • Optane SSD System: Host and destination devices used Optane memory technology, and the devices were connected by Thunderbolt 3.

Interestingly Tom's Hardware expects Optane technology to make your PC "into an instant booting device like a tablet or cell phone," but my PC already boots up faster than any tablet or smartphone I've had. I think the fastest booting devices I've owned are an Atari ST and Nintendo DS.

The headline difference in performance you can see in the graphic above. The Optane technology based system and device transfer speeds trounce their NAND SSD opponents. Intel Optane movie data transfer performance approaches 2GB/s.

However the test wasn't very fair with the NAND SSD system being hobbled by its SATA interface drives while Intel Optane SSDs were "using PCIe x4 NVMe" interfaces, according to PCPer. The same tech news site notes that Intel's own P3700 NAND 1.6TB SSD product can also achieve 2GB/s transfers. Rather Optane's strength lies in its random IOPS, as shown in earlier technology demonstrations. Nevertheless it's good to see more demonstrations of Intel Optane across various applications, as it gets nearer to market availability.



HEXUS Forums :: 8 Comments

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Game changer :)
I dunno, there's something off about those charts. The SSD-based one was clearly transferring at speeds way faster than the 284MB/s when it started. You'd need to analyse why it had that significant slow down of transfer tio identify what was bottlenecking the transfer.
It's somewhat pitful for them to compare it to a tablet or smartphone booting, though :( Those things are painfully slow to start if not in standby state (which a PC could already do). Let's hope Optane is a bit nippier than that! I fear that BIOS/UEFI time will end up being a more significant hog, plus Windows login time.
Well, tbh, I doubt anyone (with a few braincells) will upgrade from nand-based-SSD to XPoint for Windows bootup times!

This is for sheer throughput.
scaryjim
I dunno, there's something off about those charts. The SSD-based one was clearly transferring at speeds way faster than the 284MB/s when it started. You'd need to analyse why it had that significant slow down of transfer tio identify what was bottlenecking the transfer.

A lot of TLC drives have a small psuedo-SLC buffer to allow a certain amount of writes to proceed at a much higher speed than is allowed by writing straight in TLC mode, and the controller then moves this buffer into TLC in the background. Because it's limited in size, once you exceed a certain amount of writes you'll fill the SLC buffer and start writing straight to TLC which shows as a drop in transfer speed as shown in that picture.

E.g. from: http://www.anandtech.com/show/8520/sandisk-ultra-ii-240gb-ssd-review