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Intel delays super fast 3D XPoint memory technology

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Intel has delayed the release of its 3D XPoint memory modules, a new type of memory which is supposed to be faster than NAND flash memory, and cheaper than DRAM.

Initially slated to launch this year, the more recent thinking was that Intel would be debuting 3D XPoint with its new Skylake-EP series of processors, which will be introduced early next year. However The Motley Fool (opens in new tab) reports that the CEO of Intel, Brian Krzanich, said on a recent earnings call we won't be seeing 3D XPoint with Skylake-EP, and in fact it appears it won't be introduced until its successor, Cannonlake-EP. Cannonlake-EP isn't expected to be released until late 2018 or early 2019, based on Intel's current release schedule. 

It will be extra disappointing to people who have been watching 3D XPoint's impressive testing demos. Back in April Intel showed off the technology using its new Optane SSD. It managed to transfer a 25GB file between an external hard drive and the SSD in just 15 seconds, reaching nearly 2GB/s speeds.

Of course, we're seeing similar speeds from traditional NAND-based NVMe drives, including Intel's own SSD 750, but 3D XPoint still sounds promising. Intel says it will not only be fast, but also bring about cost, capacity, and reliability improvements. When it eventually releases, of course.