Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory Module Roadmap Shown

Inspur Systems NF8260M5 DDR4 And Optane DCPMM Support
Inspur Systems NF8260M5 DDR4 And Optane DCPMM Support

Intel showed off its new Optane DC Persistent Memory module roadmap at its Memory and Storage Day 2019 in Seoul. Today, Intel announced that it is running wafers in its new Fab 11X in Rio Rancho New Mexico plant for next-generation Optane media. That will power next-generation Intel Optane NVMe SSDs as well as Barlow Pass. Intel is not announcing where high volume manufacturing will be for next-generation Optane, but it is talking more about how Fab 11X will help increase manufacturing capacity.

Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory Roadmap

Here is the current roadmap. Today, we have theĀ 2nd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors with the “Apache Pass” generation of Optane DC Persistent Memory. Intel showed off that next-generation Cooper Lake / Ice Lake Xeon CPUs will come along with Barlow Pass DCPMMs.

Intel Memory Storage Day 2019 Barlow Pass And Sapphire
Intel Memory Storage Day 2019 Barlow Pass And Sapphire

Barlow Pass will use the new 2nd generation Optane media. There will also be an Alder Stream Optane SSD based on the same media. The company also mentioned that it has a roadmap not just for the future Sapphire Rapids 3rd generation Optane media but also a 4th gen in the works. Intel said that the next-generation parts should offer more capacity than the current generation, but also more performance just like on the NAND side.

Intel Memory Storage Day 2019 Barlow Pass Performance
Intel Memory Storage Day 2019 Barlow Pass Performance

In terms of performance, Intel is using its next-generation Alder Stream Optane SSD and showing that its IOPS are well beyond what the Intel Optane DC P4800X offers today. That will lead to a massive increase in performance compared to its contemporary SSDs.

Final Words

Intel Optane DCPMM arrived to Xeon servers a generation later than we expected. It seems like Intel is indicating that its next-generation will be here in 2020 with Cooper and Ice Xeon generations and that it will be much faster than what we see today. It is also showing a commitment to a third generation with the next-generation Sapphire Rapids Xeons in the future.


  1. Patrick, Several years back, we filed a provisional patent application describing, in general terms, a “Format RAM” option to be added to BIOS/UEFI subsystems. I can now see a feasible DIMM slot configuration like this: 4 DDR4 DIMM slots in quad-channel mode, and 2 or 4 DIMM slots for Optane DIMMs. The latter would be formatted during a fresh OS install by invoking the “Format RAM” option, and the resulting ramdisk would host the OS like any other solid-state storage subsystem. Once the OS is installed and working, the BIOS/UEFI lists this ramdisk as the default bootable drive. Just thinking out loud here, FYI.


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