At Micron Insights, in addition to the announcement of their 5300 and 7300 series SSD, the company unveiled the world’s fastest SSD with their own 3D XPoint, the X100.
Little has been said about Micron’s stake in 3D XPoint besides the idea to call their parts QuantX, but it seems like that plan has been changed as we didn’t hear or see anything about the branding anywhere. Unlike Intel, the company has been more conservative by watching how their competitor, Intel, was spearheading the market with the new and exotic memory solutions; waiting patiently to pounce when the time was right.
But, while they have lacked a product to compete, it doesn’t mean they didn’t have anything in the works. They were developing a monster to take on big data, AI workloads, and database warehousing.
Now that it has been revealed, we are blown away by the performance. While very little details have been leaked, we can tell that it utilizes a PCIe 3.0 x16 interface, it is capable of performance of 9 GBps read and write, even in mixed workloads. Additionally, it can reach upwards of 2.5 million IOPS in random performance with response times as low as 8 microseconds.
But, all this speed comes with a rather large power bill, or at least it seems so without official specs. In order to feed the X100 enough power, the PCB features an 8-pin power connector for more juice than what the slot can provide. It’s actually quite insane to think of its potential power draw being more than some GPUs. Some of the more power-hungry SSDs we have reviewed in the past like the Intel Optane drives can consume upwards of 18W or even more, but never needed supplemental power.
We were not told much about it other than a handful of details. I’m thinking it is possibly powered with their own second-gen 3D XPoint, but that is speculation at this point as it could just as well utilizing their first-gen XPoint too.
Unfortunately, capacities and prices are not yet announced. As it takes the crown in listed specs, it will probably cost a pretty penny for sure. If you are interested in taking a look at it yourself, you’re probably going to have to wait if you’re not high up on their customer list. It will be sampled to select customers in limited quantities this quarter.