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Intel Intros 1.5TB Variants of Optane 905p 3D XPoint SSD

Intel today introduced 1.5 TB variants of the Optane 905p SSD that implements 3D XPoint memory. The drive comes in half-height PCI-Express 3.0 x4 add-on card, and 15 mm-thick 2.5-inch form-factor with U.2 interface. Both variants offer sequential transfer rates of up to 2,600 MB/s reads, with up to 2,200 MB/s writes. Random access speeds are rated at up to 575,000 IOPS reads, with up to 550,000 IOPS writes. A function of its sheer capacity and 3D XPoint, endurance for these drives is rated at 27.37 PB (bytes written). The drives retain the feature set of their less capacious siblings, including 256-bit AES native encryption. The company didn't release pricing.

AKiTiO Announces Node Lite Thunderbolt 3 Enclosure with Intel Optane 905P AIC SSD

AKITIO, in a partnership with Intel will be releasing a special edition of the popular Node Lite PCIe box, bundled with the recently announced Intel Optane 905P, 960GB SSD as well as other higher capacity drives as they become available.

The Intel Optane 905P SSD is a new technology that is different from NAND flash memory. The Optane is a hybrid between DRAM and typical storage memory. By connecting the Intel Optane drive inside the Akitio Node Lite via Thunderbolt 3, we are able to fully utilize the Thunderbolt 3 bandwidth to achieve incredibly fast performance of up to 2200MB/s in both read and write. Unlike NAND flash based SSD's that provide fast performance in only large sized random read/write operations, the Optane drive provides the same phenomenal speeds in both large and small file transfers.

Intel "Cooper Lake" Latest 14nm Stopgap Between "Cascade Lake" and "Ice Lake"

With no end to its 10 nm transition woes in sight (at least not until late-2019), Intel is left with refinement of its existing CPU micro-architectures on the 14 nanometer node. The client-desktop segment sees the introduction of the "Whiskey Lake" (aka Coffee Lake Refresh) later this year; while the enterprise segment gets the 14 nm "Cascade Lake." To its credit, Cascade Lake introduces a few major platform innovations, such as support for Optane Persistent Memory, silicon-level hardening against recent security vulnerabilities, and Deep Learning Boost, which is hardware-accelerated neural net building/training, and the introduction of VNNI (Variable Length Neural Network Instructions). "Cascade Lake" makes its debut towards the end of 2018. It will be succeeded in 2019 by Ice Lake the new "Cooper Lake" architecture.

"Cooper Lake" is a refresh of "Cascade Lake," and a stopgap in Intel's saga of getting 10 nm right, so it could build "Ice Lake" on it. It will be built on the final (hopefully) iteration of the 14 nm node. It will share its platform with "Cascade Lake," and so Optane Persistent Memory support carriers over. What's changed is the Deep Learning Boost feature-set, which will be augmented with a few new instructions, including BFLOAT16 (a possible half-precision floating point instruction). Intel could also be presented with the opportunity to crank up clock speeds across the board.

Toshiba Looks to Take on Optane With XL-Flash Low-Latency 3D NAND Technology

Toshiba at the Flash Memory Summit announced that it's developing 3D XL-Flash technology - an approach towards the creation of low-latency, 3D NAND that can take on the surging Optane and 3D XPoint memory technologies. Toshiba says the new approach to low-latency NAND could bring latency values down to just 1/10 of current consumer, TLC NAND pricing.

The bet here is on economies of scale - a revised NAND architecture and deployment will still be able to take advantage of the huge fabrication capacity that Toshiba already enjoys (and Samsung, with its Z-NAND, similar in purpose to what Toshiba want to do with XL-Flash), thus avoiding the need for technology and production ramp-up that brought Optane's pricing up. Toshiba will be using its BiCS flash technology, but XL-Flash will be - at least at first - deployed in SLC implementations, so as to improve performance (7 microseconds program time against QLC's 30 microsecond). Of course, this will bring storage density down, but remember the target here is offering Optane-like performance and equal or better density at lower pricing.

Micron and Intel go Separate Ways for 3D XPoint Program After 2019

Micron and Intel today announced an update to their 3D XPoint joint development partnership, which has resulted in the development of an entirely new class of non-volatile memory with dramatically lower latency and exponentially greater endurance than NAND memory.

The companies have agreed to complete joint development for the second generation of 3D XPoint technology, which is expected to occur in the first half of 2019. Technology development beyond the second generation of 3D XPoint technology will be pursued independently by the two companies in order to optimize the technology for their respective product and business needs.

The two companies will continue to manufacture memory based on 3D XPoint technology at the Intel-Micron Flash Technologies (IMFT) facility in Lehi, Utah.

Intel Announces New Generation Xeon E Processor Family

Intel today announced the release of the new Intel Xeon E-2100 processor. The Intel Xeon E processor, successor to the Intel Xeon E3 processor, is designed for entry-level workstations that provide creators with powerful, single-threaded application performance with a platform optimized for reliability and affordability.

"With today's workloads, aging workstations impede productivity, collaboration and creativity. The release of the Intel Xeon E processor is intended to deliver the essential performance and visuals for entry workstations, as well as optimizing the innovative form factors, designs and diverse requirements of our customers," said Jennifer Huffstetler, vice president and general manager, data center product management, Intel Corporation.

Intel "Cascade Lake" Xeon Scalable Chips to Support 3.84 TB of RAM per Socket

Intel is giving finishing touches to a new wave of Xeon Scalable processors based on its new "Cascade Lake" silicon. One of its first parts is a 28-core chip with a 6-channel DDR4 memory interface, support for 3 DIMMs per channel, resulting in 18 DIMM slots per socket. Its integrated memory controllers support a theoretical maximum of 3.84 TB of memory. The best part? The memory needn't be DRAM-based.

With its next-generation of enterprise processors, Intel is introducing support for Optane Persistent Memory. This 3D X-point based memory module has a performance footprint between NAND flash SSDs and volatile DRAM; while being close enough to the latter to work as primary memory. Its USP is persistence - the ability to not lose data after power loss or reboot; allowing large data centers to quickly power down/up nodes in response to load, without wasting several dozen minutes in repopulating DRAM with data from a hibernation image. Optane Persistent DIMMs come in capacities of up to 512 GB. This is simply 512 GB of 3D X-point memory wired to a special on-DIMM controller that interfaces with standardized DDR4 interface.

Wishful Thinking, Disingenious Marketing: Intel's Optane Being Marketed as DRAM Memory

Intel's Optane products, based on the joint venture with Micron, have been hailed as the next step in memory technology - delivering, according to Intel's own pre-launch slides, a mid-tier, al-dente point between DRAM's performance and NAND's density and pricing. Intel even demoed their most avant-garde product in recent times (arguably, of course) - the 3D XPoint DIMM SSD. Essentially, a new storage contraption that would occupy vacant DIMM channels, delivering yet another tier of storage up for grabs for speed and space-hungry applications - accelerating workloads that would otherwise become constrained by the SATA or even NVMe protocol towards NAND drives.

Of course, that product was a way off; and that product still hasn't come to light. The marriage of Optane's density and speed with a users' DRAM subsystem is just wishful thinking at best, and the dreams of pairing DRAM and 3D Xpoint in the same memory subsystem and extracting the best of both worlds remains, well... A figment of the imagination. But not according to some retailers' websites, though. Apparently, the usage of Intel's Optane products as DRAM memory has already surfaced for some vendors - Dell and HP included. How strange, then, that this didn't come out with adequate pomp and circumstance.

Intel Launches Optane 905P in M.2-22110 Form-factor

Intel launched the Optane 905P SSD in the more practical M.2-22110 (110 mm long) form-factor, following up on its early-May launch in the add-in card (AIC) form-factor. These drives take advantage of the PCI-Express 3.0 x4 interface and NVMe protocol, and feature the company's latest generation 3D X-point memory. The drive likely comes in capacities of up to 480 GB, with transfer rates of up to 2600 MB/s reads, up to 2200 MB/s writes, and 575k/550k 4K random access speeds. The USP here is endurance, with 10 DWPD, and 1.6 million hours MTBF.

ZOTAC Puts Gaming at the Forefront this Computex

ZOTAC Technology, a global manufacturer of innovation, is proud to unveil a wide range of upcoming products and hardware in COMPUTEX 2018. At the forefront are the next generation of ZBOX Mini PCs featuring next-gen CPU and gaming-grade network hardware, never-before-seen gaming machines from ZOTAC GAMING, the latest VR GO backpack with an all-new design, and award-winning PCs. An exclusive showcase of ZOTAC's leading innovations in graphics card, as well as a grand stage set for the defuse-filled ZOTAC CUP MASTERS Asia Regional Finals are also the show-stoppers to invigorate the excitement.

Two ZBOX Mini PCs which won the COMPUTEX 2018 d&i award takes center stage. First is the ZBOX CI660 nano with an all-new passive cooling chassis design inspired by the honeycomb, one of nature's most recognized and strongest structures. The first Mini PC to be equipped with an 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, the ZBOX CI660 nano can handle up to a 25W TDP processor and delivers the most powerful performance from a ZBOX C Series Mini PC in complete silence.

Akitio Announces Special Edition Node Lite with Intel Optane 905P SSD

AKITIO, in a partnership with Intel will be releasing a special edition of the popular Node Lite PCIe box, bundled with the recently announced Intel Optane 905P, 960GB SSD as well as other higher capacity drives as they become available.

The Intel Optane 905P SSD is a new technology that is different from NAND flash memory. The Optane is a hybrid between DRAM and typical storage memory. By connecting the Intel Optane drive inside the Akitio Node Lite via Thunderbolt 3, we are able to fully utilize the Thunderbolt 3 bandwidth to achieve incredibly fast performance of up to 2200MB/s in both read and write. Unlike NAND flash based SSD's that provide fast performance in only large sized random read/write operations, the Optane drive provides the same phenomenal speeds in both large and small file transfers.

Intel Optane 905P Series 3D XPoint SSDs Detailed

Ahead of its launch, Intel's upcoming Optane 905P SSD surfaced on Newegg, with 960 GB capacity, and an insane $1,600 price (pre-launch price), and a glowing shroud. The retailer put out close to no technical details of the drive, but leaked documents from Intel website do that job for us. Apparently, the Optane 905P comes in both PCI-Express 3.0 x4 add-on card (up to 960 GB) and 15 mm-thick 2.5-inch 32 Gbps U.2 (up to 480 GB) form-factors.

The drive offers sequential transfer rates of up to 2600 MB/s reads, with up to 2200 MB/s writes. The 4K random access numbers are stellar - up to 575,000 IOPS random reads, and up to 550,000 IOPS random writes, with under 10 µs (micro-seconds) latencies. Drives from both form-factors have a rated endurance of 10 DWPD (drive writes per day). These make the 905P slightly faster than the 900P, which clocks in at 2500/2000 MB/s sequential reads/writes, and 550,000/500,000 IOPS 4K random access.

960GB Intel Optane 905P PCIe AIC SSD Shows Up on Newegg

Ahead of its launch, a curious-looking Optane 905P PCI-Express add-in card (AIC) SSD, bearing model number SSDPED1D960GAX1, showed up on Newegg, confirming its imminent launch. The model listed offers 960 GB of storage based on 3D XPoint memory, and unless we're mistaken, an illuminated shroud, unlike its predecessor, the Optane 900P.

The capacity here is the star-attraction, as the Optane 900P only comes in capacities up to 480 GB (that's 280 GB and 480 GB), which had been the biggest complaint of its target audience, PC enthusiasts. The added capacity should also increase the drive's endurance numbers, although the Newegg listing puts out no performance numbers from the manufacturer. The Optane 905P 960 GB commands a US $1,602 price, for now.

Aorus Unveils Z370 Motherboards with Exclusive Built-In 32GB Intel Optane Memory

GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd, a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, announced the launch of Z370 AORUS motherboards with exclusive built-in 32GB Intel Optane Memory and support for Intel Core i7+/i5+ architecture. By also utilizing Intel Rapid Storage Technology, these motherboards provide users with accelerated read/write speeds for their storage devices, bolstering their data performance for incredible value.

Introducing GIGABYTE motherboards with built-in 32GB Intel Optane Memory, the four models in this series include the Z370 AORUS GAMING 7-OP, Z370 AORUS ULTRA GAMING WIFI-OP, Z370 AORUS ULTRA GAMING 2.0-OP, and Z370 HD3-OP motherboards, all of which are fully compatible with the newest Intel RST. In addition to adapting the performance enhancement technology from the previous generation, the newest generation of Intel Optane Memory technology is even more potent as it enhances high capacity HDD read/write speeds to match that of SSDs. Under the protection of GIGABYTE Ultra Durable Technology, these boards offer increased system stability as well as durability, making these motherboards a can't miss choice for those seeking enhanced data performance at an unbeatable value.

Intel Core i7+ and Core i5+ Retail SKUs Start Selling

Intel began selling its Core i7+ and Core i5+ processor SKUs in the retail channel, in new box designs distinguishable from the regular 8th generation Core processor retail boxes. For those new to this, Intel late-March, launched Core i5+, Core i7+, and Core i9+ processor SKUs. These have absolutely zero processor performance differences from the regular SKUs, but denote bundles of processor and Intel Optane 16 GB cache SSDs. Among the three new SKUs available on Newegg are Core i7+8700 (BO80684I78700), Core i5+8500 (BO80684I58500), and Core i5+8400 (BO80684I58400). All three include a 16 GB Optane drive, which steps up price by about $35. The Core i7+8700 is hence $340, followed by the i5+8500 at $240, and the i5+8400 at $215.

HP Brings Powerful PC Gaming Experiences to the Masses with New Pavilion Gaming Lineup

HP Inc. today introduced HP Pavilion Gaming, a new lineup of notebooks, desktops and displays designed to meet the needs of mainstream gamers. The HP Pavilion Gaming lineup provides the ultimate combination of powerful gaming experiences, value and versatility for everyday use. Gaming is one of the fastest growing PC segments, with more than 1 billion gamers worldwide. Mainstream gamers represent 62 percent of this growing market. While HP's OMEN line is built for performance and enthusiasts gamers, the new HP Pavilion Portfolio is designed to meet the diverse needs of more casual users, who often want a single device to meet all their PC needs.

"By listening to gamers and understanding their needs, HP is building an industry-leading gaming ecosystem that appeals to all segments of the market, "said Kevin Frost, vice president and general manager of consumer personal systems, HP Inc. "With HP Pavilion Gaming, casual gamers get the best of both worlds - powerful game play on a boldly designed device that's versatile enough to meet their everyday PC needs."

EVGA Announces the H370 Stinger Motherboard

Introducing the EVGA H370 Stinger - A budget-friendly workhorse for your HTPC or gaming PC. Featuring a next-gen Intel H370 Express Chipset, with DDR4 2667MHz+ memory support and a 10-layer PCB, this motherboard is built to withstand the daily grind. Using a 9-phase PWM, external clock generator, HDMI 2.0 and 7.1 Channel HD Audio, this motherboard will thrive as the heart of your next system, while supporting today's widely-used components.

With four SATA 6G ports, M.2, Intel Optane Memory Ready, the EVGA H370 Stinger has you covered for storage. This motherboard also comes with USB 3.1 Gen 2, 4 native USB 3.1 Gen 1 and included Dual-Band WiFi + Bluetooth for versatility. By using a careful balance of performance and features, the EVGA H370 Stinger gets you straight to the point.

Intel Previews True Optane M.2 SSD Geared for Enterprise

At the Open Compute project Summit, Intel previewed their upcoming Optane SSD DC P4801X, the company's true M.2, Optane-based SSD for enterprise deployments. Intel has managed to reduce the footprint for their flagship, U.2 form-factor Optane SSD DC P4800X, while increasing the available NAND capacity from their current caching solutions (800p and 900p Optane SSDs).

The new, upcoming M.2 SSD's controller features a 7-channel architecture to improve performance as much as possible, deployed in 375 GB drives, through use of seven quad-die packages of 3D XPoint memory. For the moment, there are no pricing or performance metrics to be talked about. However, this solution marks the first in a general consumer-available form-factor, and could be prototyped for a future, mainstream-hitting Optane SSD.

Intel Announces Optane 800p Series M.2 NVMe Cache SSD

Intel today announced the Optane 800p series M.2 NVMe cache SSD. This series succeeds the original Optane Memory series, which came in 16 GB and 32 GB capacities. The new Optane 800p comes in 58 GB and 118 GB, and offers acceleration to a HDD or slower SSD-based machine, just like the original. It can also be used as a standalone SSD since it's big enough to hold an OS installation and some software. Intel also encourages buying two or more of these drives for NVMe RAID.

The drive is built in the M.2-2280 form-factor, and takes advantage of PCI-Express gen 3.0 x2 interface. Both the 58 GB and 118 GB variants have identical performance numbers from Intel: up to 1450 MB/s sequential reads, up to 640 MB/s sequential writes, up to 250,000 IOPS (8 GB span) random reads, and up to 145,000 IOPS (8 GB span) random writes. Endurance is where 3D XPoint memory begins to shine, both variants have their endurance rated at 365 TBW. Available now, the Optane 800p 58 GB is priced at USD $129.99, while the 118 GB variant goes for $199.99.

Intel Optane MEM M10 Cache Modules Surface on Retailers' Websites

The next step in Intel's Optane product launch could be right around the corner, as retailers have started listing the company's upcoming Optane MEM M10 cache drives up for pre-order. If you'll remember, these products were first leaked in some Intel product roadmap slides, where they appeared identified as "System Acce. Gen 1.0". Whether or not today's workloads and faster SSD-based storage require the introduction of a faster caching solution is up for debate; however, Intel seems to think there is room in the market for these caching solutions, even if the vast majority of users would be much better served by acquiring a higher capacity SSD as their primary drive (especially if they're coming from the HDD world).

These new Optane MEM M10 cache drives will come in capacities ranging from 16 GB to 64 GB. The M10 modules will take the M.2 2280 form-factor and deliver data through the PCIe 3.0 interface. Prices are being quoted at $47.58 for the 16 GB model, $82.03 for the 32 GB model, and $154.37 for the largest, 64 GB model. These should ensure lower latency and higher throughput than traditional SSDs do, due to their caching of users' more heavily requested data; however, due to the very nature of these caching solutions, and the memory footprint available for them, it's likely most users will hit severe performance bottlenecks, at the very least, on the 16 GB model.

Easily Build a Quiet and Gorgeous System with NZXT's N7 Z370 Motherboard

NZXT today announces the N7 Z370, its first motherboard. Built around Intel's Z370 chipset, the N7 delivers everything you need to build a powerful, gorgeous gaming PC right out-of-the-box. All the essentials are included, along with a built-in digital fan controller and integrated RGB lighting channels. The all-metal motherboard cover perfectly matches the color and finish of your case, creating a visually seamless backdrop for your components. Using NZXT's CAM software, you have full control over your system's lighting, cooling, and performance.

"Leveraging our years of experience as professional PC builders, we've designed the N7 motherboard with a completely new approach. In the face of increasing complexity in the PC gaming market, we want to make building easier and more enjoyable, with the N7 as a cornerstone for this new experience. Everything you need--from easy layout and obvious connections to digital fan control and RGB lighting--is included. We've also designed a completely unique motherboard cover so it's both beautiful and powerful. You can't build a quieter, better-looking system as easily as you can with our new N7 motherboard." says Johnny Hou, NZXT's founder, and CEO.

Micron and Intel Announce Update to NAND Memory Joint Development Program

Micron and Intel today announced an update to their successful NAND memory joint development partnership that has helped the companies develop and deliver industry-leading NAND technologies to market. The announcement involves the companies' mutual agreement to work independently on future generations of 3D NAND. The companies have agreed to complete development of their third-generation of 3D NAND technology, which will be delivered toward the end of this year and extending into early 2019. Beyond that technology node, both companies will develop 3D NAND independently in order to better optimize the technology and products for their individual business needs.

Micron and Intel expect no change in the cadence of their respective 3D NAND technology development of future nodes. The two companies are currently ramping products based on their second-generation of 3D NAND (64 layer) technology. Both companies will also continue to jointly develop and manufacture 3D XPoint at the Intel-Micron Flash Technologies (IMFT) joint venture fab in Lehi, Utah, which is now entirely focused on 3D XPoint memory production.

EVGA Announces the X299 DARK Motherboard

EVGA introduces you to the ultimate in raw performance for the next-gen Intel Extreme lineup, the EVGA X299 Dark. The Dark is crafted from the ground up to be the performance apex with everything you need to make a record-breaking benching run or a 24/7 number cruncher, and nothing you don't - a board that is as reliable as it is fast.

Shuttle's SZ270R9 Gaming and VR Cube Comes with Overclocking on Demand Function

Shuttle Computer Group, Inc., one of the world's leading designers of small form computers, announces a new and powerful cube-sized computer, its SZ270R9, designed for advanced home and portable gaming, along with virtual reality applications. Unlike other PCs, once set, users can overclock with the Turbo button for the quickest, most realistic action. In spite of its small size, it has an impressive expansion capability and storage capacity. With lots of interior space, the SZ270R9 supports large-format dual-slot graphics cards; users can install up to four 2.5" or 3.5" hard drives and two m.2 bays. It also supports Intel's new Optane Memory to improve data processing and system speed.

"This is the ultimate gaming PC, power packed with an external design that looks like you're ready for battle," said Robert Garcia, channel manager, Shuttle Computer Group. "And when you press the overclock button, watch out! You'll be the winner for sure."

Intel Readies Optane DIMM Roll-out for 2018

Intel has reportedly slated launch of its Optane DIMM for the second half of 2018. The Optane DIMM marks the biggest change in computer memory in over two decades, and heralds the era of "persistent memory," which combines the best characteristics of DRAM and NAND flash, in that it has the speed and low-latency of DRAM, but the persistence (ability to store data in the absence of power) of NAND flash. Combining the two will be made possible with improvements to the speed and latency of 3D XPoint memory. Intel is currently selling consumer SSDs based on the technology, and has increased production of 3D XPoint chips.

Intel presented the Optane DIMM at the 2017 USB Global Technology Conference. It described Optane DIMM as a primary storage device that will function as a memory-mapped device, but with much higher storage densities than what's possible with current DDR4 DRAM. The enterprise segment, as usual, will have the first take of the technology, with Intel targeting the exascale computing (supercomputers nearing ExaFLOP/s compute throughput) industry, trickling down to other enterprise segments, before finally making its way to the client/consumer segments. This development is also a polite nudge to the DRAM industry to get its act together, and either bring down prices or scale up densities, or miss the bus of change.
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