Wednesday, January 16, 2019

2019 Persistent Memory Summit and Reports

SNIA is hosting the 2019 Persistent Memory Summit next week. We will have detailed updates and reports on hot topics in Persistent Memory shown below

I highly recommend the people attend this as it provides are great vision for technology and markets. 

While I am not presenting, I will attend and have updated data from my FMS presentations on 
  • 2019 Persistent Memory Revenue numbers
  • Optane revenue for Intel overall and specifically the "quasi-launched" Optane DIMMs
    • Hint: both applications and the market are changing
    • Sometimes persistent memory is not persistent
  • 3d Xpoint technology roadmap, specifications, endurance, and challenges for both Micron and Intel
  • Competition to Optane from ReRAM, NVDIMM-P, Low latency NAND, ZNAND etc. Can they match or even surpass Optane?
Plus I will provide commentary on technology, market, and application presentations real time. 

Hope to see you there, text me or email to set up a meeting. 


Mark Webb

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Intels Announcement of Beta Deployment of Optane Persistent Memory

Intel announce that Optane Persistent Memory is shipping to select customers and those companies will deploy solutions "soon".

What was announced:
Optane Persistent Memory is shipping as Beta Program to select customers.
Widespread shipping in 2019
More importantly, they announce two ways in which it will work.

1) Memory Mode: Big and Affordable, but Volatile
This is 100% lined up with what we forecast. Optane Memory main value proposition is adding tons of memory at slower speed in DIMM format on the memory bus. Half the price of DRAM, probably 7x higher latency, much higher density. 6TB is possible. You make the speed OK by using DRAM cache. Example:  1.5TB of Optane with 192GBs of DRAM. but it only appears as 1.5TBs of memory since the DRAM is all used as cache. The downside? The memory is not persistent. Since you use a volatile cache, you can lose the data. 

Summary: Optane Persistent Memory in Memory Mode is not persistent. 

2)  App Direct Mode: Big, Affordable, and Persistent

In this mode, you have Optane in addressable memory. you have DRAM as well each is addressable separately. If you want to write to 192GBs of DRAM fine... just like always. If you want to write the the Optane, fine... its persistent. But you have to explicitly decide where to write. 

Summary: Optane Persistent Memory in App direct mode is persistent. 

Actual value proposition will depend on a few items:
A) Do you need tons of memory but dont need persistence? 
B) Do you need persistence and have the application software to manage it
C) Are you OK that the persistent memory is about 7x slower but is 50% cheaper

We have more data on actual speed, cost, and models on the next Gen Optane. We also previously published the models for Revenue from Optane SSDs adn Optane persistent memory.

Final Thought: If memory mode was persistent, we would actually have a simple memory solution. And something tells me there will be limitations built into the drivers on writing optane in App direct mode since it does not have infinite endurance. I am thinking that those details will come out when we see the end products... we will let you know.

Mark Webb

Intel announcement

Explanation of Modes

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

MKW Ventures Consulting Reports and Presentations

Out recent reports and presentations from Flash Memory Summit are published here

Persistent Memory
3D Xpoint Optane
Emerging Memory

Also detailed presentation on out cost model which is available for DRAM, NAND, 3D XPoint, and Other memory technologies.

Future reports on details of China's Memory technologies and plans coming

Many reports listed below

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Xpoint Optane Performance and Revenue

At 2018 Flash Memory Summit, I presented a summary of 3D Xpoint status. It includes applications, a model for the chip performance, and revenue projections. Summary is attached here

Some of my estimates. A model for what 3D Xpoint chips could be….

  • 128Gbit Chip with >10% overprovisioning on the chip itself
  • Read Latency: ~125ns, Write Latency: “higher”  (why higher is a long story)
  • Endurance: ~200K cycles spec with management techniques. Note: cycling capability is at a certain fail rate which is managed by controller.
  • 2nd Gen will have 2x the density at about 30% lower cost. It will be available in 2020
  • It is a very fast, high endurance, byte addressable, NVM replacement (at much higher cost than NAND)
  • Not DRAM replacement. 

Model is based on Optane Memory electrical analysis, Intel announcement and PCM physics 

So how high could the sales be? Revenue model

While high performance, high price SSDs are great, the volumes and revenue from this market are too low to pay for the development of the technology and manufacturing costs. Memory costs are all about volume efficiency paying for expensive development and fab capital expenditures.

Optane DIMMS are the best opportunity for Intel to achieve scale needed to make 3D Xpoint successful. The DIMMS require Cascade lake to work so we expect yet another "launch"* in December to signal Optane shipping as Apache Pass with Cascade lake processor.

Detailed presentation below from Flash Memory Summit Page ... I have other presentations there on persistent memory, and a comparison of all new memories performance and cost

Side Note: After FMS, Intel announced that it is moving 3D XPoint development to Rio Rancho, New Mexico, a site I worked at for the better part of 20 years. There is a separate discussion on why this was done and the implications to Micron and Intel. For now its just great to have memory development 20 minutes from my home!

Flash Memory Summit page

*Launch definition for many companies is quite different from what you might expect. Intel is no exception!

Mark Webb


Monday, August 13, 2018

Five Thoughts from 2018 Flash Memory Summit

Five thoughts from 2018 Flash Memory Summit

Of course, I have more than five but…. It’s a start!

I made more than a few presentations at the 2018 Flash Memory Summit on Persistent Memory, New technologies and NAND future. Documents will be posted. I also had some takeaways after discussions with attendees and got to see some friends from my past.

  • Persistent Memory is starting to see more products, applications, and potential than the initial NVDIMM-N. People are using NVDIMM-N for log and journal files and items that cannot be lost. New versions that combine some DRAM and lots of NAND or 3D Xpoint will be the future. Real Products available in 2018
  • 3D Xpoint, ReRAM, and MRAM are available today. 3D XPoint is being pushed by Intel and as a result will sell more than all other “New NVMs” combined. This volume will help create markets for all other NVMs. This is a huge change in the past 3-5 years.
  • New NVMs will struggle to ramp as fast as 3D XPoint as capital and expense spending is required to get these to high volume. Intel has spent ~$1B on getting 3D XPoint to sell. No other company can afford that. We need to find solutions and business models to help in this area. I presented a Product Lifecycle model for new memories that can be tied to investment and partnership plans.
  • Systems solutions, Fabric, SDS are allowing both faster and more economical use of persistent memory and Flash solutions in general. These will determine overall datacenter volume ramps in the future
  • YMTC presented their NAND technology and Fab Plans. Their challenge was already interesting to get into a very competitive market. The technology changes they are planning will add to the challenge and opportunities. We have a detailed report on technologies and the revenue we will see from YMTC over the next 5 years.

Some Highlights

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Mark Webb at 2018 Flash Memory Summit

I will be at 2018 Flash Memory Summit and the Monday session of MRAM developer day with 4 presentations during the week. Call/Text to set up 1:1 meetings and discuss all the details.

Mon: MRAM Day: MRAM Memory Technology and Markets 2018-08-06 11:15AM
MRAM applications, markets, challenges, and projected revenue for next 5 years. Hint: It's a tale of two markets!!

Tues: PMEM-101-1: Advances in Persistent Memory 2018-08-07 8:30AM
what persistent memory technologies are available today and which ones will win in the future. Revenue projections for persistent memory and what milestones are required to hit them.

Tues: NEWM-102B-1: Update on Emerging Memory Technologies 2018-08-07 4:55AM
A review of  emerging memory techologies, what the pros and cons are of each and what we can expect in next 3-5 years. Cost numbers, speeds, applications for all technologies

Wed: NEWM-201A-1: 3D XPoint: Current Implementations and Future Trends 2018-08-08 8:30AM

3D Xpoint aka Intel Optane is poised to sell more GB than all other emerging memories combined. We have costs and revenue models and applications. Intel and Micron have not shown details on cycling, speed, cost, and pricing so we show a "model" of what 3D Point looks like with quantitative models for latency, endurance, applications, etc. How will those upcoming Optane DIMMS work? Plus we can discuss why Micron and Intel appear to be going separate paths very soon. You wont want to miss this!

Mark Webb

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Xtacking from YMTC, Fast NAND and More

"Yangtze Memory Technologies to Debut New 3D NAND Architecture"

YMTC will announce their Xtacking technology at Flash Memory Summit Aug 7th per a company announcement. We will dig up details for you but it looks to be another version of "Fast NAND".

Fast NAND is what I refer to when we discuss Z-NAND (Samsung) or similar products being proposed from Toshiba, Hynix. These are aimed to compete with Intel Optane SSDs. Versions can also be used for DIMMS in a NVDIMM-N or NVDIMM-P solution. I also address the cost of fast nand in previous Blogs

Typically it is SLC with design modifications to speed reads and writes. Samsung and other NAND companies have indicated that SSD latency can be reducted to 10uS range with fast NAND

What specifics YMTC announces and how it will impact the NAND and SSD market will be discussed at Flash Memory Summit #FMS2018. Call us for more information

Link to PR announcement

Mark Webb