Intel Unveils Optane Memory M15 Rocking 3D XPoint, PCIe 3.0 x4 And A Big Speed Boost

Intel Optane Memory M15
Like many hardware companies, Intel is using Computex to showcase a bunch of new products and technologies, such as its Core i9-9900KS Special Edition processor, 10-nanometer Ice Lake CPUs, and Project Athena laptops. In addition, Intel has unveiled a new and faster Optane Memory product that improves upon the performance of the previous generation offerings.

The new Optane Memory M15 drives consist of Intel's 3D XPoint memory plopped onto an M.2 form factor module, with a PCI Express 3.0 x4 interface. As with the previous generation Optane Memory 10 modules, the M15 is using 128-gigabit (Gb) 3D XPoint built on a 20 nanometer manufacturing process. The major change, however, is the bump from PCie 3.0 x2 to PCIe 3.0 x4.

Here's a look at the new performance metrics...
  • Sequential Read: Up to 2,000MB/s
  • Sequential Write: Up to 900MB/s
  • Random Read (QD4): Up to 450,000 IOPS
  • Random Write (QD4): Up to 220,000 IOPS
Those are some sizeable gains over the previous generation Optane Memory M10 products, which offered sequential read and write speeds of up to 1,450MB/s and 640MB/s, respectively. As for the random read and write metrics, those get a big boost as well—the M10 topped out at 250,000 IOPS for reads and 140,000 IOPS for writes.

"Intel Optane Memory M15 features higher performance and lower power than the previous generation. Combined with the 9th Gen Intel Core mobile and desktop platforms, people will experience short boot times, fast application launches, and fast gaming and browsing," Intel says.

Power usage is nominal, and negligible for the typical consumer. It is the performance gains that are more interesting to us, and the capacities. So far Intel has announced three capacities for the M15 series—16GB, 32GB, and 64GB. There have been rumors of a 128GB addition, but so far nothing of the sort has been officially unveiled.

If you're new to Optane Memory modules, they're essentially caching solutions for your hard drive or solid state drive. They are of more beneficial to the former, but work with either storage medium to accelerate boot times, game loads, frequently accessed applications, and so forth.

The new Optane Memory M15 follows the recent launch of the Optane Memory H10, which is a hybrid SSD that combines Optane Memory with NAND flash memory for a sort of all-in-one storage solution. The H10 also leverages PCIe 3.0 x4.

Intel did not announce pricing for its new Optane Memory M15 modules, but did note that they will be available in the third quarter of this year.