When Intel and Micron started talking about their joint development of what's-called 3D XPoint, the technical attraction was immediately obvious - it is to be something that fits (both in terms of specifications and price) between current solid-state storage variants and the DRAM/memory space. There is an enormous current gap right there - we get so used to comparing solid-state to spinning disks that we forget that there's a massive range of pricing and capabilities within the various types of solid-state (be it memory or storage....which is a line, by the way, that will continue to blur).
Micron has now come out with the branding for its version of 3D XPoint, which it calls QuantX. A logical step one might say, but we're still a good way away from actually using this product in the real world. So, why this marketing emphasis now? Rather than just guess at the answer, I stopped by Micron's booth during the recent VMWorld event - with video camera in hand! - to ask Scott Shadley just that.
Let me add some additional color commentary to Scott's answers; the bottom line is that something as new as this - that occupies a previously uninhabited area of the data hierarchy - needs to be heavily promoted ahead of time; that's partly for simple awareness and to create eventual 'pull', but also so that systems vendors and end-users alike can start to consider the implications, opportunities and - yes - challenges, that will present themselves when this technology is available for use. Even today, for example, we have applications that cannot really take advantage of everything that even "vanilla" solid-state has to offer, simply because they we're not written with it in mind (or, indeed, sometimes there are loops built into the code specifically to allow for waiting for slow HDD responses!). Micron's marketing of QuantX is therefore more than the usual pre-sales hyping of a new product - it is promoting the very idea and capabilities so that users have thought about, and can actually take advantage of, this new technology once it starts shipping.