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Behind Micron’s Product Enablement Plan for 3D XPoint

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3D XPoint in devices

Micron Technology (MU) and Intel (INTC) have developed 3D XPoint in a way that benefits from both DRAM (dynamic random access memory) and NAND (negative AND). Micron has recently claimed that this technology will do well in multiple segments due to its low latency, high density, and power efficiency. Below are a few specifics on 3D XPoint’s technology:

  • caters to the low-latency and high-density needs of high-end gaming systems
  • high speed and density ideal for data centers
  • low-latency and power-efficiency ideal for smartphone battery life

The technology itself, however, may take longer to enter this space.

Behind Micron's Product Enablement Plan for 3D XPoint

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3D XPoint growth projection

At the Winter Analyst Conference in February 2016, Micron Chief Executive Officer Mark Durcan gave a rough estimate of how growth from 3D XPoint will look, stating that the technology can act as a persistent form of memory across multiple segments.

Specifically, Durcan took an example from mainstream servers and explained his vision for the technology’s adoption for in-memory databases to grow from 5% to 27% between 2018 and 2022. The cost and power benefits achieved by this technology could entice more companies to adopt this technology in the server space over the next four or five years.

Possible competition

Notably, SanDisk (SNDK) has been developing similar technology with Toshiba, but no updates have provided on when this technology will be available. Still, SanDisk remains undeterred and has claimed to have developed a storage-class memory in collaboration with HP (HPQ) in October 2015. The two companies claim that their technology will compete with 3D XPoint.

If SanDisk succeeds in launching this technology successfully, then, Micron and Intel may be up against some stiff competition. Investors should note that the iShares Russell 1000 ETF (IWB) invests in large-cap US stocks and has 0.75% exposure in Intel (INTC) and 0.16% exposure in HPQ.

For related analysis, keep checking in with Market Realist’s Semiconductors page.

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