Intel's Reinvention of the Hard Drive Could Make All Kinds of Computers Faster

Intel's Reinvention of the Hard Drive Could Make All Kinds of Computers Faster image
August 30, 2015 | Source: Tom Simonite, MIT Technology Review

A new kind of hard drive available next year will be able to move your data many times faster than the best today.

Computers from laptops to supercomputers could get a major speed boost next year, thanks to a new kind of hard drive developed by Intel. Intel Optane drives, as they will be called, are based on a new way to store digital data that can operate as much as 1,000 times as fast as the flash memory technology inside hard drives, memory sticks, and mobile devices today.

The first Optane drives won’t be that much faster than today’s data storage. An early prototype shown by Intel at its annual developer conference in San Francisco on Tuesday was only about seven times as fast as a top-of-the-range flash disk drive available today. However, even that level of performance could have significant effects on the capabilities of consumer and corporate computers, and Optane drives may perform better by the time they hit the market in 2016.