Persistent Memory: What is it and what does the future hold?

By Floyd GoodrichApril 12, 2017

One of the most common drawbacks of conventional computing architectures like DRAM is the loss of data due to power outages or system crashes. Losing unsaved work due to unexpected downtimes can be annoying for client computer users, but such faults can prove to be fatal in enterprise computing environments that deal with massive workloads.

Ever fancied how wonderful it would be to have a storage system that can retain unsaved data even if there’s a power failure? It’s rapidly turning out to be a reality with Micron’s cutting-edge persistent memory technology.

Today’s memory deployments are mostly comprised of DRAM, a storage solution that delivers unmatched benefits when it comes to speed and latency, however, the DRAM’s volatile nature is a major disadvantage that often leads to unwanted situations like loss of crucial data in the event of a power cut or system crash.

Micron, a worldwide leader in memory and storage solutions, recently announced the launch of Non-Volatile DIMM (NVDIMM) technology that offers its users the best of both worlds by retaining data even if the power is lost. The global supplier of high-performance storage products said that it is their first step forward in providing fast, non- volatile memory solutions on the DRAM bus.

The persistent memory NVDIMM technology leverages a storage subsystem that dispenses the speed of a DRAM and the persistence of a NAND with a capacitor bank attachment which enables safe movement of data from a DRAM into a NAND in the case of a power loss.

Micron’s first persistent memory solution, powered by an 8GB DDR4 NVDIMM, accelerates the performance of applications by eliminating stifling I/O bottlenecks - opening up a whole new dimension for IT architects to explore and scale the storage hierarchy.

What's Next for Persistent Memory?

The NVDIMM technology is gaining a significant momentum, and storage industry leaders like Micron are rolling out NVDIMM modules that are expected to double the current capacity with increased space for in-memory applications.

Storage and memory market analysts foresee deployments of NVDIMM persistent memory technologies as a solution for critical problems, helping IT and system architects accomplish challenging workloads with a hierarchy of options leveraged at cost-effective price points. 

Next generation memory solutions, according to Micron, is going to be a combination of NVDIMM and DRAM technologies that will deliver the latency and performance of DRAM while safely retaining the data even if the power is lost.

Micron is constantly working on offering its customers a performance-optimized storage mix for challenging, mission-critical applications through customized collaboration and enhanced focus on end-system results, the storage leader confirmed.  

Micron Wins the Innovative Leader of the Year for NVDIMM Technology

IT leaders and major OEMs are pinning their hopes on Micron’s persistent memory technology to dramatically heighten workflow efficiency and deployment times. This was reflected in a worldwide, non-sponsored survey conducted by IT Brand Pulse, a trusted research firm for data and analysis on data center infrastructure. The survey, which unanimously voted Micron as a preferred vendor for NVDIMM, led the storage company to win the IT Brand Pulse 2016 award.