Intel’s Cascade Lake could break Optane DIMM dam

Intel has started revenue shipments of Cascade Lake Xeon SP processors – these support Optane DC Persistent Memory DIMM devices. 

Optane is Intel’s 3D XPoint non-volatile memory technology, co-developed with Micron, that is faster than flash but slower than DRAM.

We’re interested because Optane DIMMs, storage-class memory, have a latency of 350 nanoseconds whereas the average latency for Optane NVMe SSDs is much slower at 10,000ns.

Revenue ship status means servers and/or storage array controllers are now being built with Optane DIMMs. Performance data will enable us to assess how Optane, as a means of getting in-memory performance with substantially fewer time-consuming storage IOs, translates to real-world applications.

Theory – and hope  – says you need fewer Optane DIMMs, Cascade Lake cores and CPUs to run an application than unDIMMed servers, saving money and time. Bring on the performance data.