- In a live keynote today, Intel and Micron announced 3D Xpoint, a new category of non-volatile memory that claims to be 1,000 times faster than the NAND architecture underlying most flash memory cards and solid state drives.
- The new architecture does without transistors entirely, relying on a bulk material property change to switch bits from a low-resistance to a high-resistance state. From there, memory cells are layered in an intricate three-dimensional checkerboard pattern that Intel researchers say is 10 times denser than conventional memory.
- The limitations of the new memory class are still unclear, but its earliest applications are likely to be in real-time data analysis, where fast access to large datasets is at a premium. Intel singled out fraud detection and disease tracking as likely early applications, but said the chip could also be used to power more immersive gaming experiences if brought to the PC.
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