Intel’s Optane has been on the market for a few years, and has reigned as the fastest SSD for all that time. Now, Micron wants to take the throne with its new X100 SSD. The X100 SSD marks Micron’s entry into the 3D XPoint market. The company says the drive is a high-bandwidth, low-latency drive with high QoS and endurance. The company promises the drive is three times faster than “competitive SSD offerings” on its product page.
Micron has yet to release full specs for the drive, but here’s what they’ve said so far. Similar to Optane, a full-height, half-length PCIe 3.0 x16 card. The drive is capable of 2.5M random IOPS and 9-plus GB/s in sequential read/write tests. As it sits right now, those are record-breaking numbers. Micron says the drive has just 8 microseconds of latency, as well, putting it just ahead of the current generation of Optane.
Intel and Micron initially developed 3D XPoint storage together, but this is Micron’s first step into a product line that has been occupied solely by Intel thus far. 3D Xpoint storage is meant to act as a midpoint between the speed of DRAM and stability of an SSD. Micron announced its intent to enter the market with a product line called QuantX, but that never coalesced. While this drive isn’t going to be on shelves very soon, Micron is showing actual hardware, so these numbers should be reliable. Micron is still holding back the big details like pricing, capacities, and release date. With the form factor, though, we can look to the prices of Intel’s PCIe Optane drives to get an idea of what to expect.