We need to talk about Micron

Micron’s 3D XPoint withdrawal last week prompted much debate about the implications for Intel, the future of storage-class memory, the prospects for CXL, and the direction of Micron’s product plans.

I sat down – virtually – with Brian Beeler, Storage Review editor and founder, to discuss these topics on his video podcast. The show is is now available on YouTube. 

Storage Review/Blocks & Files video podcast screen grab.

Some of the points we considered were:

  • Is there a real Storage Class Memory market? Any SCM that is slower or faster than DRAM will need software accommodations and an interface to processors (CPU, GPU, FGPA.)
  • Will PCIe 4 speed reduce need for SCM, because storage (SSD) access speed will increase?
  • Will High Bandwidth Memory reduce the need for SCM?
  • The Jim Handy view that Optane SSDs are a niche
  • If Intel doesn’t buy Micron’s Lehi fab then that indicates it sees no need for Lehi’s XPoint build capacity in the next few years?
  • Will Intel add a Compute Express Link interface to Optane Persistent Memory? This could enable AMD and Arm processors to use Optane.
  • Micron intends to compete with Optane PMem in the future with its new SCM products which use 3D XPoint learnings and knowledge
  • Micron does not need the Lehi fab to build its new SCM products – otherwise it wouldn’t sell it.

It was a free-flowing wide-ranging discussion with few holds barred. Brian and I hope you enjoy it.