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3D XPoint memory is disappearing over the horizon

Thursday, July 4, 2024

Intel is gradually phasing out its 3DXPoint-based products. The vast majority of Optane-branded solid-state drives have already been discontinued, but there are still some Optane products shipping to customers and they will remain on the market for a while. Last week the company announced plans to end-of-life its Optane Persistent Memory 200-series modules for servers, but its clients will be able to get them through 2025.

Intel's clients must determine their needs for Intel's Optane Persistent Memory 200-series 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB memory modules (in 4-Pack and 50-Pack SKUs) and make their final orders by December 31, 2024. Intel will ship these modules by December 31, 2025, so the products are not exactly disappearing overnight.

"Please determine your remaining demand for the products listed in the 'Products Affected/Intel Ordering Codes' table and place your 'Last Product Discontinuance Order' in accordance with the 'Key Milestones' listed above," a statement by Intel reads. "Intel will make commercially reasonable efforts to support last time order quantities for Intel Optane Persistent Memory 200 Series."

Intel's Optane Persistent Memory 200-series modules are used with the company's 3rd Generation Xeon Scalable (Ice Lake) processors to expand memory capacity cost-efficiently. These modules can be used together with regular DDR4 memory modules.

The Optane Persistent Memory 200-series DIMMs are not Intel's last 3DXpoint-based products. The company is still shipping its Optane Persistent Memory 300-series memory modules compatible with 4th Generation Xeon Scalable 'Sapphire Rapids' processors that can be used alongside DDR5 memory. Since these Optane Persistent Memory modules were released in Q1 2023, and Intel's server platforms tend to have rather long lifecycles, expect 300-series Optane Persistent Memory modules to be available for at least two more years, provided that Intel has enough 3DXPoint memory to build these DIMMs.

Intel officially discontinued its Optane business in mid-2022 and wrote off equipment worth $559 million as part of its broader strategy to focus on profitable and strategically important businesses. Neither Intel nor its development partner Micron are currently producing 3D XPoint memory (as Micron sold its 3D XPoint fab to Texas Instruments, which does not produce memory), so there will be no new Optane-based products. What remains to be seen is for how long Intel can continue shipping Optane-branded products to its customers.

By: DocMemory
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