Micron is laying claim to the world's fastest solid state drive (SSD) ever built, and on paper at least, it is an accurate statement. Its new X100 SSD is rated to deliver more than 9 gigabytes per second (GB/s) of read and write bandwidth, a staggering figure for sure, along with up to 2.5 million IOPS. These figures make it more than 3X faster than competitive SSD offerings, Micron says.
As you may have surmised, the X100 is bound for datacenters rather than home PCs. That's okay, though, because bleeding edge technology often starts in the datacenter and eventually trickles down into the consumer space. In the meantime, we will have to make do with the growing field of PCI Express 4.0 SSDs that are rated to deliver speeds of up to 5GB/s (5,000MB/s).
The X100 is nearly twice as fast as those newfangled drives. It leverages Micron's 3D XPoint technology, and according to Micron, it provides consistent read and write latencies that are 11 times better than SSDs built around traditional NAND flash memory chips.
"Micron’s innovative X100 product brings the disruptive potential of 3D XPoint technology to the data center, driving breakthrough performance improvements for applications and enabling entirely new use cases," said Micron Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer Sumit Sadana.
The other benefit over NAND flash memory is superior endurance, a critical consideration in the datacenter where reliability is every bit as important as raw performance. From Micron's vantage point, the X100 SSD is a "game-changing" product, as it relates to overall performance for big data applications and transactional workloads.
Initially, it looks as though the X100 SSD will be offered in a full-height half-length PCIe x16 add-in card form factor, using a standard NVMe interface.
Micron is keeping some details a mystery for now, namely the capacities the X100 SSD line will be offered in, along with pricing and availability.