Intel Memory in 2018: Break the Bottlenecks with Optane™ and Store More with 3D NAND

One year ago, the vision for Intel’s memory business was clear, but the task at hand was daunting. Reflecting back, I am encouraged and a bit proud of the advancements our team accomplished. We launched our first Intel® Optane™ technology products, breaking storage bottlenecks and delivering new levels of performance in multiple market segments with our leading, innovative customers.  We delivered industry-leading areal density with our Intel® 3D NAND storage products, enabling our customers to move more of their data from slower hard disk drives to SSDs where it can be analyzed and deliver value for our customers. These advancements in performance and density will be at the foundation of storage and computing architecture that will drive the industry forward in the coming decade.

For many, data is the unseen driving force behind the next-generation technology revolution. That’s the opportunity for competitive advantage. Our technologies and products are ready today to enable a new hierarchy of storage and memory. The leaders in this data-centric transition will win. We are excited to work with these key leaders. The time is now.

2018: Optane Combined with 3D NAND—Break the Bottlenecks and Store More

Our customers win when they deliver amazing new experiences and actionable results from data that enables better decision making and new services. As we enter 2018, our vision is clear: We must enable our customers to break the bottlenecks in real-time data access and to store more data in an affordable, easily accessible manner that creates value for their businesses.

At Intel, we continue to work on optimizing storage and memory from device physics to platform architecture to system level solutions while collaborating with industry leaders to help businesses extract the value.

After launching Intel® Optane™ technology last year and validating solutions with our customers, it is apparent now more than ever that Intel® Optane™ combined with Intel® 3D NAND technology provides the best future-ready solution for compute and storage. This innovative technology combination will enable our customers to win in the data-centric transition.

We continue to invest in two core technologies: Intel® Optane™ technology that delivers industry-leading low latency (it’s super fast!) and Intel® 3D NAND technology that delivers high density at low cost. This is the first time that we have delivered two very different, yet complementary, memory technologies that work remarkably well together—allowing system architects to redesign compute and storage.

We work at the processor and platform level to improve our platform connected capabilities to enable higher levels of Intel® Optane™ performance and more effective, scalable storage solutions. We will also drive broad deployment of our new high density “ruler” SSDs that will deliver a petabyte of data in something the size of a pizza box versus racks of hard disk drives. This will allow our customers to store more while reducing space and costs in the datacenter.

Why redesign? Companies and businesses will derive greater value from the vast amount of data they collect and store, process, evaluate or analyze by redesigning their system architecture. With Intel® Optane™ and Intel® 3D NAND, we are enabling system architects to accelerate their storage caching tier while simultaneously increasing the capacity and capability of their “bulk” storage. We view this as closing the gap between localized data (near the CPU) and long-term data. It turns out that it isn’t a single solution or technology that can bridge the gap, but rather the unique combination of Intel® Optane™ and Intel® 3D NAND technology working together. That’s the distinctive advantage that Intel is delivering to the industry.

Customers are in a Data-Centric Transition

We are working with innovative customers who are leading the way in re-architecting their solutions to drive better TCO or offer new capabilities.

At the University of Pisa1, scientists working on a treatment for degenerative brain disease found that by using new algorithms and adding Intel® Optane™ with Intel® 3D NAND they were able to reduce the MRI time from 40 minutes to 2 minutes. That is a significant improvement in patient experience as well as much better utilization of high-value equipment.

For PCs, 2-in-1s, laptops, desktops, or workstations, using Intel® Optane™ technology as your main storage or in front of a larger storage device (like HDD or SATA SSD) dramatically increases the overall system responsiveness, accelerates the gaming experience and increases productivity.

More in Store

We see no end to the increasing amount of data being created around the world and the increasing opportunity this presents for companies to transform their business. That opportunity drives us to continually innovate memory solutions to break bottlenecks and store more.  You can expect exciting innovation over the coming year in areas around increasing performance for Intel® Optane™ technology, improved NAND cell density, enhancing platform capability for storage, driving new form factors with “the ruler”, as well as more industry collaboration for innovative solutions—all in our relentless pursuit of delighting our customers.

Intel® Optane™ technology combined with Intel® 3D NAND technology is a powerful solution for many of today’s compute and storage needs. This combination will enable our customers to win in the data-centric transition. Break the bottlenecks with Optane™ technology and store more with Intel® 3D NAND.  Better together takes on a whole new meaning in 2018!

Rob Crooke is senior vice president and general manager of the Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group at Intel Corporation.

Visit the Intel® Optane™ technology page for more information. Follow me, @robcrooke, and @IntelStorage on Twitter for the latest updates.  Learn more about Intel® solid-state drives on

1. Estimated results were obtained prior to implementation of recent software patches and firmware updates intended to address exploits referred to as "Spectre" and "Meltdown". Implementation of these updates may make these results inapplicable to your device or system. Tests document the performance of components on a particular test, in specific systems. Differences in hardware, software, or configuration will affect actual performance. Consult other sources of information to evaluate performance as you consider your purchase.
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Rob Crooke

About Rob Crooke

Robert (Rob) B. Crooke is senior vice president and general manager of the Non-Volatile Memory (NVM) Solutions Group at Intel Corporation. He leads a worldwide organization responsible for NVM technology design and development, complete solid-state drive (SSD) system hardware and firmware development, and wafer and SSD manufacturing, as well as marketing for Intel’s component, module and SSD NVM businesses.