The persistent memory wars are heating up. While 3D XPoint and NVDIMM solutions have been around for some time now, competitors are looking at types of persistent memory that has the speed and endurance characteristics of DRAM. Fujitsu is turning to carbon nanotubes for its NRAM solution that has high endurance, RAM-like speeds, and is persistent like NAND. Fujitsu NRAM may be just around the corner with production slated to start in 2019.
Fujitsu NRAM Solutions
Fujitsu is pushing ahead in its high-performance computing solutions. Both with its custom chips for the HPC space, but also with storage solutions such as this. Here is a video describing Fujitsu NRAM using carbon nanotubes.
The timeline for initial production will start in 2019, but we do not expect NRAM to be found in DIMM sockets or U.2 drives like we are seeing 3D XPoint products like Intel Optane occupy. It will likely take some time for NRAM to become commercially available in mainstream systems assuming that the program is successful and the industry adopts the technology.
Another interesting tidbit from the video is that Fujitsu NRAM first generation products are planned to be produced on a 55nm process which is far more mature than what Intel Optane is being produced on.
Persistent memory options are coming. You can read more about why the industry is excited about persistent memory in our piece Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory Sampling Today Revenue Delivery 2018. It is clear why Fujitsu has an interest in the emerging market as NVDIMM solutions are still a niche product. Companies like Intel are pushing software to utilize their persistent memory solution. Once the software world catches up, we expect a number of vendors to step in with non-volatile memory solutions. In research labs, this is an area of extreme focus as the winner will likely dictate a multi-billion dollar industry for years to come.