Wednesday, April 10th 2019

Intel Packs 3D X-Point and QLC NAND Flash Into a Single SSD: Optane H10

Intel today revealed details about Intel Optane memory H10 with solid-state storage - an innovative device that combines the superior responsiveness of Intel Optane technology with the storage capacity of Intel Quad Level Cell (QLC) 3D NAND technology in a single space-saver M.2 form factor. "Intel Optane memory H10 with solid-state storage features the unique combination of Intel Optane technology and Intel QLC 3D NAND - exemplifying our disruptive approach to memory and storage that unleashes the full power of Intel-connected platforms in a way no else can provide," said Rob Crooke, Intel senior vice president and general manager of the Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group.

Combining Intel Optane technology with Intel QLC 3D NAND technology on a single M.2 module enables Intel Optane memory expansion into thin and light notebooks and certain space-constrained desktop form factors - such as all-in-one PCs and mini PCs. The new product also offers a higher level of performance not met by traditional Triple Level Cell (TLC) 3D NAND SSDs today and eliminates the need for a secondary storage device.
Intel's leadership in computing infrastructure and design allows the company to utilize the value of the platform in its entirety (software, chipset, processor, memory and storage) and deliver that value to the customer. The combination of high-speed acceleration and large SSD storage capacity on a single drive will benefit everyday computer users, whether they use their systems to create, game or work. Compared to a standalone TLC 3D NAND SSD system, Intel Optane memory H10 with solid-state storage enables both faster access to frequently used applications and files and better responsiveness with background activity.

8th Generation Intel Core U-series mobile platforms featuring Intel Optane memory H10 with solid state storage will be arriving through major OEMs starting this quarter. With these platforms, everyday users will be able to:
  • Launch documents up to 2 times faster while multitasking.
  • Launch games 60% faster while multitasking.
  • Open media files up to 90% faster while multitasking.
SSDs with Intel Optane memory are the fastest compared to NAND SSDs in the majority of common client use cases. Intel-based platforms with Intel Optane memory adapt to everyday computing activities to optimize the performance for the user's most common tasks and frequently used applications. With offerings of up to 1TB of total storage, Intel Optane memory H10 with solid state storage will have the capacity users need for their apps and files today - and well into the future.

The Intel Optane memory H10 with solid-state storage will come in the following capacities, 16GB (Intel Optane memory) + 256GB (storage); 32GB (Intel Optane memory) + 512GB (storage); and 32GB (Intel Optane memory) + 1TB storage.

For more information, visit this page.
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31 Comments on Intel Packs 3D X-Point and QLC NAND Flash Into a Single SSD: Optane H10

#26
chrcoluk
With the article going on about QLC storage density and quoting intel that I wouldnt need a second storage device I was expecting at least at a minimum a 4TB capacity on this thing, only to read that the largest model is just 1TB, LoooL. Sorry but I advise anyone to stay away from QLC, as its new to the market, and essentially its ability to hold data for lengthy periods of time has not been tested, remember the first gen samsung TLC drives anyone? Reputable companies are not immune to issues. I would buy a 3D TLC drive over this.
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#27
Valantar
londiste said:
Aren't M.2 slots on Intel motherboards almost exclusively from chipset? These definitely support bifurcation.
They do? So you can put a bifurcated riser into a PCH-connected PCIe slot and run more than one device off it? No, you can't. Intel only officially supports PCIe bifurcation on HEDT platforms, even if it's sometimes possible to mod their other platforms into supporting it. They do support a highly limited form of bifurcation on the x16 slots of Zx70/Zx90 series boards when allowing you to attach two GPUs at x8 each, but generally their ITX variants do not accept bifurcated risers, so this is a highly limited and specific implementation.
londiste said:
AMD also does not support bifurcation on consumer platforms. B350/450 comes to mind.
"AMD does not support bifurcation on all consumer platforms" ≠ "AMD does not support bifurcation on consumer platforms". X370 and X470 support it just fine, unlike Z370 and similar Intel consumer platforms. With Intel, you have to go HEDT for bifurcation support, or mod your BIOS.
londiste said:
PLX are switches, this is doing 4 > 2x2 and does not need one. Clock buffer it might need, depending on how both these drives and motherboards are built.
Again: it would need one if the platform didn't support bifurcation (which Intel up until now has entirely barred from consumer platforms). That's all I was saying.

londiste said:
Interesting though, how would these drives show up in non-Intel board or are these functional enough without special software like RST?
If the platform supports PCIe bifurcation, they'd likely show up as two separate drives, and would probably be usable with other caching software should you want to. If the platform doesn't support bifurcation, you'd only see the device connected to the first two PCIe lanes (unless the existence of another device on the last two lanes caused a crash, that is), whichever one that may be.

chrcoluk said:
With the article going on about QLC storage density and quoting intel that I wouldnt need a second storage device I was expecting at least at a minimum a 4TB capacity on this thing, only to read that the largest model is just 1TB, LoooL. Sorry but I advise anyone to stay away from QLC, as its new to the market, and essentially its ability to hold data for lengthy periods of time has not been tested, remember the first gen samsung TLC drives anyone? Reputable companies are not immune to issues. I would buy a 3D TLC drive over this.
Have you seen a single 4TB m.2 SSD? I'm pretty sure there are none, so how they would fit one onto a PCB that's already half covered by an Optane drive ... that's a challenge, for sure.
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#28
londiste
Valantar said:
They do? So you can put a bifurcated riser into a PCH-connected PCIe slot and run more than one device off it? No, you can't. Intel only officially supports PCIe bifurcation on HEDT platforms, even if it's sometimes possible to mod their other platforms into supporting it. They do support a highly limited form of bifurcation on the x16 slots of Zx70/Zx90 series boards when allowing you to attach two GPUs at x8 each, but generally their ITX variants do not accept bifurcated risers, so this is a highly limited and specific implementation.
You are right, PCH-connected PCI-e does not have bifurcation in the specs. I don't know why I remembered it the other way.
Z-series chipsets do and more than x16 > x8/x8. The limitation does appear to be that you cannot divide one of these beyond x8 though - cannot do x16 > x4/x4/x4/x4 but can do x16 > x8/x4/x4
Valantar said:
If the platform supports PCIe bifurcation, they'd likely show up as two separate drives, and would probably be usable with other caching software should you want to. If the platform doesn't support bifurcation, you'd only see the device connected to the first two PCIe lanes (unless the existence of another device on the last two lanes caused a crash, that is), whichever one that may be.
We'll have to see when the devices actually arrive.
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#29
chrcoluk
Valantar said:



Have you seen a single 4TB m.2 SSD? I'm pretty sure there are none, so how they would fit one onto a PCB that's already half covered by an Optane drive ... that's a challenge, for sure.
One of the reasons I dont like m.2, they could definitely make a 4TB U.2 or PCIE drive tho. Perhaps they shouldnt have raised expectations by saying one wouldnt need a second drive and mentioning about QLC density when they cant outsize a TLC or MLC m.2 device.
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#30
londiste
The Intel Optane Memory H10 Review: QLC and Optane In One SSD (AnandTech)

An OEM product, mostly laptops. Looking at the tried configurations in the middle of the page, not even Xeon and Threadripper detected both properly. I would assume the problem is in platform - mostly motherboard - needing specific support for H10 rather than straight up CPU or bifurcation support being the issue.

Looks like at this point, anything that supports x4 will get QLC drive, anything that supports x2 will get Optane one :)
Posted on Reply
#31
Scrizz
chrcoluk said:
One of the reasons I dont like m.2, they could definitely make a 4TB U.2 or PCIE drive tho. Perhaps they shouldnt have raised expectations by saying one wouldnt need a second drive and mentioning about QLC density when they cant outsize a TLC or MLC m.2 device.
If you just want a large capacity U.2 or PCIE SSD, they already exist....
They're not cheap.
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