Enabling More Affordable or Bigger Memory Solutions

Intel® Memory Drive Technology transparently integrates Intel® Optane™ SSDs into the memory subsystem.

Intel® Memory Drive Technology is a revolutionary software that extends system memory transparently. Combined with an Intel® Optane™ Solid State Drive (SSD), Intel® Memory Drive Technology transparently integrates the SSD into the memory subsystem and makes it appear like DRAM to the OS and applications. Intel® Memory Drive Technology increases memory capacity beyond DRAM limitations and delivers DRAM-like performance in a completely transparent manner to the operating system and application. In addition, no changes are required to the OS or applications.

There are two key scenarios in which it is beneficial for an IT environment to use Intel® Memory Drive Technology:

  • Displace a portion of DRAM to reduce overall memory cost
  • Grow the memory pool beyond DRAM capacities when large system memory is required

Displace DRAM for More Affordable Memory
Intel® Memory Drive Technology enables data centers to deliver more affordable memory pools by displacing a portion of DRAM. By pairing the DRAM with the high-performing non-volatile memory of the Intel® Optane™ SSD, data centers can more cost-effectively execute workloads that require high-end memory configurations with much lower DRAM capacity installed, saving on both Capex and Opex costs.

Extend Memory for a Bigger Memory Footprint
Intel® Memory Drive Technology enables data centers to grow the memory footprint beyond the DRAM capacity. Together, the DRAM and the Intel® Optane™ SSD emulate a single volatile memory pool. Intel® Memory Drive Technology intelligently determines where data should be located in the pool to maximize performance, enabling servers to deliver performance across many workloads—even when DRAM is only supplying one-third to one-tenth of the memory pool capacity.

Enable New Possibilities for the Enterprise
The combination of cost-efficiency and increased capacity means enterprises can break through today’s memory limits, enabling new possibilities—like accessing higher- capacity, in-memory datasets to deliver better, faster analytics insight. As an example, cloud providers can reduce capital cost for memory when enabled to oversubscribe workloads with greater overall capacity. Or, high-performance computing centers can increase large memory datasets to improve research and scientific results, and test new simulations quickly and cost-efficiently.

The World’s Most Responsive1 Data Center SSD
The Intel® Optane™ SSD DC P4800X Series is the first data center SSD to combine the attributes of memory and storage. With an industry-leading combination of high throughput, low latency, high QoS, and ultra-high endurance, this innovative solution is optimized to break through data access bottlenecks by providing a new data storage tier. The Intel Optane SSD DC P4800X Series accelerates applications for fast caching and fast storage to increase scale per server and reduce transaction costs for latency sensitive workloads. In addition, the Intel Optane SSD DC P4800X Series enables data centers to deploy large memory pools to gain new insights from bigger datasets.

About Intel® Optane™ Technology
Intel® Optane™ technology is a unique combination of 3D XPoint™ memory media with Intel’s advanced system memory controller, interface hardware and software IP. This revolutionary technology is offered in several form factors to unleash vast system performance in a range of products.

Features At-a-Glance



Hardware Features


Memory capacity

320 GiB2 3

Supported processors

Intel® Xeon® processor E5-x6xx v2 or later, Intel® Xeon® processor E7-x8xx v2 or later

Maximum processor sockets


Form factor

Add-in-card (AIC); Half-height, half-length, low-profile


PCIe* 3.0 x4, NVMe*


AIC: 12V (3.3V Aux) Supply Rail

Active/Idle: Up to 18 W/5 W (TYP)


Hot-plug is not supported

Memory media type

Non-volatile memory

Software Features


Operating systems

RHEL* 6.5, 6.6, 6.7, 6.8 ,7.0, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3
SLES* 11 SP4, 12, 12 SP1, 12 SP2

Intel® Memory Drive Technology Software4 requires a bootable media.

Supported protocols: IDE, UHCI, EHCI.

Linux* OS must be installed in legacy (non-UEFI) mode.

Maximum software-defined memory

64 TiB2

Recommended DRAM expansion

Up to 8x5

Memory media type

Volatile (non-persistent)

Intel® Optane™ SSD DC P4800X Series

Product and Performance Information


Responsiveness defined as average read latency measured at queue depth 1 during 4k random write workload. Measured using FIO 2.15. Common configuration - Intel® 2U Server System, OS CentOS* 7.2, kernel 3.10.0-327.el7.x86_64, CPU 2 x Intel® Xeon® E5-2699 v4 @ 2.20GHz (22 cores), RAM 396 GB DDR @ 2133MHz. Intel drives evaluated - Intel® Optane™ SSD DC P4800X 375GB and Intel® SSD DC P3700 1600 GB. Samsung drives evaluated – Samsung SSD* PM1725a, Samsung SSD* PM1725, Samsung* PM963, Samsung* PM953. Micron drive evaluated – Micron* 9100 PCIe* NVMe* SSD. Toshiba drives evaluated – Toshiba* ZD6300. Test – QD1 Random Read 4K latency, QD1 Random RW 4K 70% Read latency, QD1 Random Write 4K latency using FIO 2.15.


GiB = 1,073,741,824 bytes, TiB = 1,099,511,627,776 bytes.


Total physical capacity is 375 GB. Total usable capacity towards Intel® Memory Drive Technology is 320 GiB.


Technology licensed from ScaleMP*.


For example: 128 GiB DRAM can be expanded up to 1024 GiB based on the capacity of the non-volatile memory media installed. Higher expansion ratios may be supported, with possibly suboptimal performance.