3D XPoint is the technology behind a new type of nonvolatile memory developed jointly by Intel and Micron Technology. As described by Micron Technology, 3D XPoint uses a transistor-less cross point architecture to create a three-dimensional checkerboard where memory cells sit at the intersection of words lines and bit lines, allowing the cells to be addressed individually.
The result is that data can be written and read in small sizes, leading to fast and efficient read/write processes. Introductory statements about 3D XPoint suggests it will offer 1,000 times the performance and endurance of today’s NAND technology.
Main Memory or Storage?
3D XPoint could function as main memory as well as storage because it’s non-volatile. Basically, this means it could be used as in conjunction with DRAM or as the sole memory technology.
In August, 2015 Intel revealed that the 3D XPoint would be used in 3D XPoint-based DIMMs to improve memory performance without any modifications to your operating system or applications.
This announcement was met with mixed reactions: While the 3D XPoint DIMM is both electronically and pin-compatible with DDR4, Intel’s compatibility solution is proprietary.