RIP Optane/XPoint

By: Adrian (, August 1, 2022 2:15 am
Room: Moderated Discussions
anon3 (not.delete@this.available.example) on July 31, 2022 10:19 pm wrote:
> Mark Roulo ( on July 29, 2022 10:02 am wrote:
> > I do wonder if there was a fundamental issue where Intel *had* to price this where they did and
> > couldn't economically make smaller capacity DIMMs or if this was just a business decision.
> I think it was very difficult to fabricate. Possibly very difficult. Otherwise why would Micron not
> enjoy having a captive fab customer, or Intel spin it up themselves? If I had to speculate further, I'd
> guess there were some exotic materials involved (as so many NVRAM technologies use), and it was probably
> those that never scaled/cost-reduced/site-transferred as well as the suits were hoping for.

AFAIK, Intel has never given any information about the materials used.

Nevertheless, it is very likely that the materials include tellurium, maybe also germanium.

Tellurium is one of the least abundant elements on Earth, only a little more abundant than gold.

Tellurium is not extremely expensive only because its current applications require small quantities. If there would be an application consuming a lot of tellurium then the achievable production would not suffice.

Germanium is more abundant, but more expensive, because it is extremely dispersed, there are no concentrated sources for it. While tellurium has low abundance at the surface at the Earth because it is volatile, so it has not condensed during the Earth formation, germanium has low abundance at the surface of the Earth because it has high affinity for metallic iron, so it has been sequestered in the core of the Earth, like the platinum-group elements.

Relying on such rare and expensive elements could have caused problems if Intel Optane would have ever reached the state of being used in every computer.

As the niche product that it was, I do not believe that material availability has been the problem, but it is likely that the yields of the manufacturing process have been very low.

Phase-change memories have been studied for more than 50 years and during all this time there have been frequent claims that they might replace other incumbent memory technologies, but until now their only mass market success have been the rewritable CDs/DVDs, where it is enough to support only a small number of erase cycles.

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TopicPosted ByDate
RIP Optane/XPointWes Felter2022/07/28 07:53 PM
  RIP Optane/XPointRayla2022/07/28 08:28 PM
  RIP Optane/XPointDoug S2022/07/28 09:00 PM
    RIP Optane/XPointNoSpammer2022/07/29 01:50 AM
    NVDIMM-NEric L2022/07/29 03:36 AM
    RIP Optane/XPointMichael S2022/07/29 04:02 AM
      RIP Optane/XPointDoug S2022/07/29 10:40 AM
        RIP Optane/XPointDoug S2022/07/29 10:43 AM
          RIP Optane/XPointLinus Torvalds2022/07/29 11:20 AM
            RIP Optane/XPointDavid Hess2022/07/29 08:59 PM
              RIP Optane/XPointDavid Hess2022/07/30 03:44 PM
                RIP Optane/XPointDoug S2022/07/30 10:43 PM
                  RIP Optane/XPointrwessel2022/07/31 05:33 AM
                  RIP Optane/XPointKonrad Schwarz2022/08/02 08:06 AM
                  RIP Optane/XPointDavid Hess2022/08/02 10:24 PM
                    RIP Optane/XPointDavid Hess2022/08/02 10:26 PM
                    RIP Optane/XPointAdrian2022/08/03 01:19 AM
        RIP Optane/XPointanonymou52022/07/29 12:50 PM
    RIP Optane/XPointGionatan Danti2022/07/29 09:09 AM
    RIP Optane/XPointMark Roulo2022/07/29 10:02 AM
      RIP Optane/XPointdmcq2022/07/30 03:42 AM
      RIP Optane/XPointanon32022/07/31 10:19 PM
        RIP Optane/XPointanon22022/07/31 10:55 PM
          RIP Optane/XPointDoug S2022/08/01 08:37 AM
            RIP Optane/XPointGionatan Danti2022/08/01 01:33 PM
              RIP Optane/XPointNoSpammer2022/08/02 03:50 AM
                RIP Optane/XPointDoug S2022/08/02 09:24 AM
                  RIP Optane/XPointGionatan Danti2022/08/02 10:34 AM
                  RIP Optane/XPoint---2022/08/02 10:39 AM
            RIP Optane/XPointDavid Hess2022/08/03 03:48 AM
              RIP Optane/XPointMichael S2022/08/03 06:04 AM
                RIP Optane/XPointDavid Hess2022/08/03 08:56 AM
        RIP Optane/XPointAdrian2022/08/01 02:15 AM
          RIP Optane/XPointGionatan Danti2022/08/01 06:07 AM
            Losses vs not profitable enoughMark Roulo2022/08/01 10:15 AM
              Losses vs not profitable enoughdmcq2022/08/01 11:50 AM
                Losses vs not profitable enoughGionatan Danti2022/08/01 12:34 PM
            RIP Optane/XPointMichael S2022/08/01 02:47 PM
              RIP Optane/XPointAnon2022/08/01 03:09 PM
                RIP Optane/XPointMichael S2022/08/01 03:32 PM
      RIP Optane/XPointGroo2022/08/01 12:28 PM
        RIP Optane/XPointanon32022/08/01 10:33 PM
          RIP Optane/XPointGroo2022/08/03 11:15 AM
            RIP Optane/XPoint---2022/08/03 03:05 PM
    LatencyDavid Kanter2022/07/29 06:35 PM
  Operating system and driver overheadEric L2022/07/29 03:44 AM
    Operating system and driver overheadLinus Torvalds2022/07/29 10:45 AM
  altrernatives?Michael S2022/07/29 05:17 AM
    altrernatives?Rayla2022/07/29 06:49 AM
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