Intel’s storage division is introducing one of the most intriguing products you could imagine. The Intel Optane Memory H10 combines up to 1TB of QLC 3D NAND with up to 32GB of Optane memory onto a single M.2. The benefits are obvious, Intel is able to provide a single M.2 solution that has both fast and relatively durable Intel 3D XPoint together with capacity optimized QLC 3D NAND.
Intel Optane Memory H10
We did not get a huge amount of detail around the Intel Optane Memory H10. Instead, we got slim details. One that we found intriguing, this is not shipping today. Instead, it will be shipping in the spring of 2019.
Capacities for the devices will be:
- 16GB (Optane) + 256GB (QLC);
- 32GB (Optane) +512GB (QLC); and
- 32GB (Optane) + 1TB (QLC)
Our Editor-in-Chief, Patrick, asked a few clarifying questions around the Intel Optane Memory H10 products:
STH: Is the Intel Optane Memory H10 seen as two drives, or is the Optane being used as a cache for the NAND?
Intel: In OEM systems, the Intel Optane Memory H10 will be preconfigured to look like a single device.
STH: Are they all M.2 2280 or are the larger capacities bigger?
Intel: They’re all M.2 2280.
There are two ways in which this product could work. It could be a highly integrated single device or two devices that share a PCB.
If it is a highly integrated device, this has major implications. One could have NVMe SSDs with Intel Optane Persistent Memory acting as a read/ write buffer at the higher-end. In the low-end enterprise space this may be intriguing but for higher-end scenarios, we will likely still see dedicated Optane devices or upcoming Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory Modules for write caches. Still, if Intel is pulling this off, which seems unlikely given our Q&A, then it could make for single drives that use NAND and Optane managed by an Intel controller.
On the other hand, the Intel Optane Memory H10 could look like two SSDs, each on a PCIe 3.0 x2 interface. That may use less power than a dedicated PCIe switched device. If this is going into a mobile form factor, less power consumption will be a concern. If that is the case, then the comment that the “Intel Optane Memory H10 will be preconfigured to look like a single device” seems to indicate that it will look like two devices.
For those of our readers who may have wanted to put both a 3D NAND capacity SSD and an Intel Optane Memory module, perhaps for read cache/ write cache, this may have the ability to fit that role, especially in embedded platforms with a single M.2 2280 slot.