Intel Confirms Kaby Lake and 200 Series Chipset Required for Optane Memory
Samuel Wan / 12 months ago
With 3D XPoint, Intel is creating two different storage solutions with their new flash storage. Optane memory is meant to be used as a system cache while Optane SSDs will obviously be SSD type traditional storage. Prior to launch, there was some ambiguity about the systems Optane memory would support. Intel has how now clarified that Optane memory would only be supported by Kaby Lake with 200 series chipsets.
When Intel and Micron first announced 3D XPoint, the expected launch was for 2016 but as we all know, that got pushed back. This more or less killed hopes that Skylake might support Optane memory but that was never confirmed. According to Intel, only combinations of Kaby Lake processors and 200 series chipsets will work, ruling out combinations of Kaby Lake CPU and 100 series chipset as well as Skylake CPU and 200 series chipset.
In many ways, Optane memory is meant to work as the next level of Intel’s SRT(Smart Response Technology). SRT required specific chipsets to function and used a regular NAND SSD to cache hard drives. Unfortunately, the limited durability of NAND and the intensive operations of caching meant such an SSD would see a very short lifetime. Optane solves this issue with an order of magnitude improved endurance and faster speeds to boot. It’s just a shame that support won’t be extended to at least Skylake/100 series which is architectural compatible with Kaby Lake/200 series.