Today Intel finally released its first new enterprise NVMe SSD in over a year. We have seen the Intel DC P3600 and vendor specific variants like the Oracle Intel DC P3605 variant installed in many applications over the past several quarters. The Intel DC P3600 family is the midrange offering which is ideal for a wide range of applications. The DC P3700 is more expensive and has higher write endurance but there are still many read heavy workloads. Likewise the Intel DC P3500 has very low write endurance. Today Intel is catering to the mass market with the DC P3608. We saw leaked details of the Intel DC P3608 and the forthcoming DC P3520 some time ago in this article and it appears as though that leak was fairly accurate.
The official spec sheet ranges up to 850k IOPS read and 50k to 150k IOPS read (50k for 4TB 150k for 1.6TB). Intel rates endurance at 8.96 PBW to 21.9 PBW depending on capacity. Here is a link to Intel ARK | Intel DC P3608 Series if you want to compare all of the specs direct from Intel.
Probably the biggest innovation is the move to a much wider x8 PCIe bus that the card sits on. That allows Intel to design for 5GB/s read and up to 3GB/s write speeds. We do want to see exactly how Intel is doing this as it almost looks like they are striping across two DC P3600 drives in the architecture. That would also explain the significant jump in power consumption. One would assume that the company is using two P3600 controllers alongside an Avago (PLX acquisition) 16 lane PCIe 3.0 switch chip to ensure proper PCIe termination. Idle power also was raised from the 8-10w leaked estimate to 11w which makes more sense given the extra components.
PCIe x8 is the primary form factor for most server PCIe slots so we will see a continued transition to this interface for AIC versions of cards. PCIe 3.0 x4 will still be the interface of choice for the 2.5″ form factor. The Intel DC P3608 only comes in the AIC version as the x8 interface is required to achieve the higher transfer rates.
Hopefully we will get ahold of one soon to test. Stay tuned!
For reference: previously leaked Intel DC P3608 information
As a recap, here is the leaked slide we received from one of Intel’s networking/ server partners:
Fairly close to what was actually released.