back to article Do Optane's prospects look DIMM? Chip chap has questions for Intel

Semiconductor analyst David Kanter has identified six areas of ignorance about Intel's Optane DIMMs where clarity will dictate whether they become popular or not. Optane is a brand name for Intel's 3D XPoint memory, the storage technology that can be found in its P4800X series SSDs. The name has been slapped on Intel's …

  1. Warm Braw Silver badge

    Directly mapped persistent storage ...

    ... + Spectre + Meltdown (or their latest equivalents). What could possibly go wrong?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Directly mapped persistent storage ...

      It causes you to throw random terms together in the hope that it creates something new?

      What increased risk is there in "directly mapped persistent storage" over a swap or page file?

  2. Douchus McBagg

    i've been waiting for this since the first experimental Dimm loaded scsi SSDs

    persistant ram is going to need a whole new programming model to be used effectively I feel.

    storage is ram, and ram is storage. do a reboot/power off-on and just wait for the CPU to come back on line and carry on as you were. your machine is effectively going to be "on" from the first OS install to the final switch off. apps get loaded into memory and stay there. 512gig on a dimm? no paging? no "disk"?yes please!

    BSODs gonna be a pain though.

    1. AMBxx Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: i've been waiting for this since the first experimental Dimm loaded scsi SSDs

      >> BSODs gonna be a pain though.

      We could have a little hole on the side of the device to poke a small pen into. Naturally, the first product will be from Apple who will claim to have invented the idea.

      1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

        Re: i've been waiting for this since the first experimental Dimm loaded scsi SSDs

        We could have a little hole on the side of the device to poke a small pen into. Naturally, the first product will be from Apple who will claim to have invented the idea.

        But you won't be able to just use any pen, it will have to be an Apple iPen with security keys, costing £000s. There also won't be a hole, the iPen will operate wirelessly, and not work with anything but Apple products.

        1. kain preacher Silver badge

          Re: i've been waiting for this since the first experimental Dimm loaded scsi SSDs

          You left out you need to hold it right.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: i've been waiting for this since the first experimental Dimm loaded scsi SSDs

          I have a paper clip, can I just use a paper clip? :o)

          1. kain preacher Silver badge

            Re: i've been waiting for this since the first experimental Dimm loaded scsi SSDs

            If it's a windows system you have to use clippy.

    2. Munchausen's proxy
      Pint

      Re: i've been waiting for this since the first experimental Dimm loaded scsi SSDs

      "persistant ram is going to need a whole new programming model to be used effectively I feel."

      Or a whole old one -- multics used that model. Almost 50 years ago.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    KVM support can be found in QEMU

    KVM support for NVDIMM is mostly in its userspace device model QEMU (https://git.qemu.org/?p=qemu.git;a=blob_plain;f=docs/nvdimm.txt;hb=HEAD), which has landed there for a while and is still being improved and extended.

  4. Jim84

    Video Games

    Layman question here, but will this have any medium term effect on video games say by allowing cars in GTA not to disappear once they are offscreen? Or by finally allowing the use of large numbers of voxels?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Intermediate

    Optane was always going to be an intermediate technology. As the cost of both RAM and persistent storage trend downward, something in-between like Optane becomes less necessary.

  6. Alex McDonald (NetApp)

    Yes, the industry is aware of some of the outstanding problems. From a security perspective, JEDEC are working on a spec for self encrypting NVDIMMs. We'll have a solution shortly.

    There is a huge amount of other information at https://www.snia.org/forums/sssi/nvmp (Non Volatile Memory (NVM) Programming Technical Work Group) that does technical work, and https://www.snia.org/forums/sssi/NVDIMM (Persistent Memory and NVDIMM Special Interest Group) that has a large selection of educational material on this subject. There is a regular conference on Persistent Memory run every year; more information, including all the presentations inclduing the last 2018 confernece are here https://www.snia.org/pm-summit

    (Alex, Co-chair, SNIA Solid State Storage Initiative)

  7. guyr

    Loads on memory bus still a concern?

    On my AMD Bulldozer era system using DDR3, DRAM speed is very sensitive to the number of loads on the memory bus. By limiting memory to only 2 of the 4 available slots, my system can maintain 1600 MHz speed. If I occupy all 4 slots with the exact same memory, speed drops to 1066 MHz on all slots.

    I'm assuming the constraints with loads still holds true with NVDIMMs? I did a quick search on the topic, and couldn't find any information. Seems to lessen the appeal if adding NVDIMMs slows down the entire memory bus.

    1. Mark Hahn

      Re: Loads on memory bus still a concern?

      if it's a bus, it slows down with more loads.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    what's old is new again..

    The programming model for non-volatile memory has now been revisited. The PDP-8/E lives again.

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