back to article Micron: We're pulling the plug on 3D XPoint. Anyone in the market for a Utah chip factory?

Micron is stopping development of 3D XPoint technology and shifting resources into memory products that use the Compute Express Link (CXL). 3D XPoint is the storage-class memory used in Intel's Optane brand SSDs and Persistent Memory (DIMM) products. CXL is an industry standard interface that enables flexible interconnection …

  1. John Robson Silver badge

    Ability to supply

    "Intel told newswires in a statement: "Micron's announcement doesn't change our strategy for Intel Optane or our ability to supply Intel Optane products to our customers.""

    Must have a massive stock of unsold stuff (compared with the number of customers) if your manufacturing partner pulling out of the business doesn't affect supply.

    1. DS999

      Re: Ability to supply

      Intel is capable of manufacturing it as well - they used to do at first until this fab came online. At the low volume/demand required, I imagine they could pick it back up without too much difficulty. But why bother, it isn't something people want.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another fab for sale to China?

    The web reckons that the Utah fab uses 300mm wafers, but I couldn't find out what minimum feature size it can do. Micron could cut their losses by selling the whole fab to China, unless Intel want to take it off their hands as a going concern.

    1. confused and dazed

      Re: Another fab for sale to China?

      That won't be allowed

    2. DS999

      Re: Another fab for sale to China?

      Its a memory fab not a logic fab, so it could be repurposed to produce NAND or DRAM, but not logic.

      1. chasil

        fab for Honda?

        Honda just announced that all manufacturing is halted in the U.S. and Canada. Semiconductors are cited as critical.

        Can a nand fab make logic parts, at lower densities?

        Would any upgrades be cost-effective?

        Although Intel itself may soon be conducting a fire sale on logic fans.

        1. Aitor 1

          Re: fab for Honda?

          Well, yes, but who would want to redo all the work to produce lower quality parts at higher expense in one year or more?

  3. luis river

    Probably new NMV device.

    The Micron´s decision probably can it hide an incredible next news, DRAM is about last days era, next NVM come soon. ?

  4. Elledan Silver badge

    All hail spinning rust

    When it comes to storage, it seems that despite all the hype, solid state storage will not take over from HDDs. NAND Flash is hurtling fully into QLC and beyond, with increasingly diminishing write endurance and skyrocketing latency, even as HDDs are getting a massive boost in storage density from HAMR and speed (IOPS, access latency & bandwidth) from multi-actuator technology.

    Maybe after NAND Flash is well and truly dead can PCM like 3D XPoint begin to take over, but as things stand, it seems that the imminent demise of magnetic mechanical storage has been greatly exaggerated.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: All hail spinning rust

      >NAND Flash is hurtling fully into QLC and beyond, with increasingly diminishing write endurance and skyrocketing latency

      People want cheap, not super-expensive but fast enough to use an x16 bus and huge endurance. Partly Intel's fault, not enough lanes off of consumer CPUs, gamers will favor their GPU every time. The server space will use huge RAM caches backed by battery.

    2. foxyshadis

      Re: All hail spinning rust

      Spinning rust has been a niche product for years, relegated to the lowest of the low end or power users who need to store multiple terabytes of data; for everyone else flash is spacious enough and ten times as fast. It doesn't need to die *completely* to become irrelevant.

  5. confused and dazed

    started with a ta-dah and ended in a wimper ....

    The jury is still out on what the first true SCM media will be. The direction is that there may be many - hiding on the CXL bus

  6. msobkow

    They were able to sink the Itanic; they can sink X-Point, too.

  7. Lorribot Silver badge

    Classic case of OUO.

    Over Promise, Under deliver and Over priced. And just to under devekoped.

    Like most of the Intel stuff of late it is just meh, why bother?

  8. nautica
    Happy

    Intel is, now, officially on the slippery slope.

    What has Intel done right in the last several years?

    The only obvious thing, but which in no way is conducive to regaining any and all lost viability, is that they have been reading their own press reports...of ten years ago. And believing those.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What has Intel done right in the last several years?

      That is quite a short list:

      <list>

      sound of silence...

      </list>

      So there you have it. Maybe the return of Gelsinger will improve matters, but no evidence yet.

      Intel. The ex-86 company. Sell.

  9. ecarlseen

    Unmentiond in the article...

    XPoint never even came remotely close to predicted speed, latency, or write endurance.

  10. Old Used Programmer Silver badge

    Maybe there's a way...

    If the plant could manage 28nm and 40nm logic, perhaps they could be contracted to turn out BCM2711, BCM2837, and BCM2835 SoCs and RP2040 MCUs.

  11. Steve Chalmers

    Write Endurance was the failure

    The whole point of persistent byte addressable memory is merging memory and storage. Do it right and the persistent memory chipmakers take tens of billions of dollars per year of revenue from the DRAM makers. At the application level, this means user code can write to memory and persist information in the time it takes to do a cache flush, not the time it takes to send a write down the NVMe storage stack.

    When the Micron/Intel technology only hit about 10^6 cycles of write endurance, that meant it couldn't be a DRAM replacement as seen from application software, because there had to be wear leveling even more aggressive than flash.

    Which meant it was in the I/O path, not the memory path, out of the CPU, and had long latencies compared to DRAM.

    It had failed at that point. I salute the Intel people who made a market for 3DXpoint anyhow. But the victory was hollow and the technology should have failed the basic sanity checks before a fab was built.

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