Intel Optane DC P4800X with 3D XPoint non-volatile memory

Intel is readying a whole range of new SSDs based on its new 3D XPoint non-volatile memory, which is a new technology promised to replace NAND flash in coming years. Intel developed this technology in collaboration with Micron Technology, under its IMFlash Technologies banner. The first SSDs with this memory chips will be sold under the Optane brand. Though there will be several sub-brands targeting the different market segments (client, enterprise, data-center, etc.). The technical slides of the data-center targeted Optane DC P4800X SSD were leaked showing the specification of the drive.

The Optane DC P4800X SSDs comes with a capacity of 375 GB and built on half-height PCI-Express add-on card (AIC) form-factor, with PCI-Express 3.0 x4 host interface. The DC P4800X offer sequential transfer rates of up to 2400 MB/s reads, with up to 2000 MB/s writes, which is slower than many TLC NAND flash-based PCIe 3.0 x4 drives transfer rates, but there is three fundamental difference between them regarding latency, random-access performance, and endurance.

According to the specs sheet of the Optane DC P4800X 375 GB AIC SSD, the drive offers over 21 times the endurance of comparable enterprise SSDs based on high-endurance MLC NAND flash; with a staggering 30 drive writes per day (DWPD); and 12.3 petabytes (12,300 TB) total bytes written (TBW) rating. This is extremely high for a drive with just 375 GB of user-space. The random-access performance of the drive is also higher than competing MLC NAND flash based drives, with up to 550,000 IOPS 4K random reads, and up to 500,000 IOPS 4K random writes.