If you look at the upcoming Core i5 desktop Nehalem mainboards and the associated P55 – and later P57 – chipset, you’ll notice, next to the usual four DDR3 DIMM slots, another little slot of similar shape but less than half the length. That’s the ONFI (Open NAND Flash Interface) DIMM, the world’s first on a standard PC mainboard.
Intel intends to use this socket for an improved version of the previous TurboMemory, with possibly 8 GB capacity and the ability to cache most of the OS and apps used. If a 16 GB version is there, well you’d practically cache ALL of the OS and apps at anyones time, I guess. And, as long as the DIMM addressability limits or BIOS boot options don’t prevent it, a 32 GB or 64 GB DIMM could even act as your – very cheap – boot SSD. After all, the controller is built into the South Bridge, so it’s direct access at cheaper price than usual SATA SSD.
The problems? Loads of verification to ensure the reliability of data, repeated caching impact on writing to cells, yada yada yada. Still important, coz OS up to now weren’t exactly great in handling SSD and Flash in general. So, official Intel support – enablement – for the Flash DIMM is most likely only in the P57 chipset rev early next year.
EVGA P55 motherboard will bring some very interesting features… who wants to overclock cache memory? 😉
Now, I met our good Singaporean friend and overclocking wizard, Shamino, in his EVGA suite at Taipei Hyatt. EVGA has shown their upcoming goodies for the P55 onwards Core i5 generation, as you can see on the photo. And, something exclusive here – Shamino and EVGA intend to work on, guess what, speeding up – read: overclocking – the Flash DIMM to get even more performance! Now that’s really interesting…