This is arguably one of the most interesting products unveiled at Micron Insight 2019 happening right now in San Francisco. Enter the Micron X100, which is touted as the world’s fastest SSD. It offers more than 9GBps bandwidth in read, write, and mixed workloads, so without a doubt the X100 is an extremely fast SSD.
In order to achieve this level of performance, Micron takes advantage of 3D XPoint memory, making the X100 the company’s very first product to use the technology. 3D XPoint was co-developed by Micron and Intel, and prior to the announcement of the X100, Intel was the only company that offered 3D XPoint products under its Optane branding.
Now then, besides its impressive 9GBps bandwidth – Micron claims this is up to three times faster than other NAND products – the X100 also features up to 2.5 million input/output operations per second (IOPS). Again, this is said to be more than “three times faster than today’s competitive SSD offerings.”
Low latency is also one of the X100’s biggest features. With a latency of only 8 microseconds, this SSD is faster than Intel’s Optane SSDs, which has a latency of 10 microseconds. Given that the X100 uses the standard NVMe interface too, there will not be any compatibility issue.
Unfortunately, as impressive as the Micron X100 is, this SSD is not meant for regular consumers; not yet, anyway. At the moment, the X100 is made only for enterprise use like data centres, and it is available in limited sampling with selected customers this quarter. Not surprisingly, capacity options and pricing of this SSD have not been announced either.
That being said, we spoke with a Micron representative on the prospect of 3D XPoint memory – which is what makes the X100 such a fast SSD – trickling down to consumer-oriented products in the future. While the technology will be limited to enterprise use for now, we were told that there’s a chance 3D XPoint memory will be implemented in consumer products somewhere down the line.
But for the foreseeable future, 3D XPoint products from Micron will be focused on enterprise applications. Then again, as with all memory technologies, we reckon 3D XPoint will eventually trickle down to consumer products – it’s just a matter of time.