New Optane Memory H10 SSD Uses Optane With QLC Flash for Speed and Capacity
Intel has announced its new hybrid Optane Memory H10 SSD, which offers both Optane Memory as well as QLC Flash storage on a single M.2 module. The unit is designed specifically for laptops with only a single M.2 slot, which has not been able to take advantage of a discrete Intel Optane Memory module before now.
This has been developed in response to demand from laptop manufacturers. Just like any other combination of an Optane Memory module and storage device, the user of a PC will see only a single virtual storage volume, which is managed by the Intel Rapid Storage Technology driver.
Optane Memory H10 will be available in three configurations:
- 16GB Optane / 256GB NAND
- 32GB Optane / 512GB NAND
- 32GB Optane / 1TB NAND
We’ve mostly seen SSDs cache for spinning disks, but using a high-speed Optane cache to buffer QLC NAND should work quite well. Putting the solution on the same M.2 silicon allows Intel to slip these drives into even the thinnest thin-and-light systems, while the density improvements of QLC NAND should help keep overall costs low.
This seems like the kind of consumer application where Optane could have a meaningful impact on system configurations, improving the amount of SSD storage available in laptops while simultaneously buffering the performance impact of adopting slower NAND as primary storage capacity.
Three different capacity options will be available: 16GB + 256GB, 32GB + 512GB, and 32GB + 1TB, with the smaller figures referring to Optane Memory and the larger ones referring to QLC Flash. Intel says the QLC being used is the same as what’s in the previously announced Intel SSD 660p. This should not be confused with Intel’s Optane SSD drives, which use Intel’s super-fast Optane media for storage.