Micron’s 3D XPoint Launch—and Where It Stands Now

Micron introduces 3D XPoint

The memory industry has not seen any revolutionary technology for almost 35 years. But Micron Technology (MU) and Intel (INTC) have been working on a breakthrough storage class memory that has benefits of both DRAM (dynamic random access memory) and NAND (negative AND).

In July 2015, the two companies announced 3D XPoint, their revolutionary non-volatile technology with cross-point structure. The two companies have claimed that 3D XPoint is 1000x faster than NAND and cheaper than DRAM. The team also claims that the breakthrough technology has high endurance, making it ideal for data analytics.

Micron’s 3D XPoint Launch—and Where It Stands Now

At the Winter Analyst Conference in February 2016, Micron’s Vice President of Memory Technology and Solutions, Brian Shirley, stated that the initial component of 3D XPoint would be a 16GB (gigabyte) monolithic component, which is in the middle of a 1GB DRAM and a 48GB NAND.

SanDisk (SNDK) and Japan’s (EWJ) Toshiba (TOSBF) already developed their own cross-point architecture in 2013, but they have not yet launched the technology. And so things look positive for Micron’s 3D XPoint end because the company has announced that it’s on track for launch, although it did not state a specific time.

3D XPoint’s status

Micron is currently sampling 3D XPoint with select partners to ensure product enablement. The company is also working on improving its manufacturing capability to start to ramp up the volume of the technology. The development of this technology is taking place at its Boise, Idaho, fabrication facility.

In the next and final part, we’ll analyze Micron’s product enablement plan for 3D XPoint.