Intel has initiated the end-of-life plan for all of its Optane DC P4800X SSDs with Memory Drive Technology (MDT). The same drives without the Memory Drive software will continue to be shipped as long as demand is there, but the SKUs with the said program will not be available from Intel by October.
The discontinued family of Optane SSD DC P4800X with MDT products includes models with 100GB, 375GB, 750GB, and 1.5TB capacities in U.2 and card form-factors with a PCIe 3.0 x4 interface.
Along with the drives, Intel has also EOL’d the Memory Drive Technology Software that’s sold separately for its Optane DC P4800X and SSD 900/905P drives. Interested parties should place their orders on the said products by June 30, 2021; Intel will ship the last drives with MDT on September 30, 2021.
Intel’s Memory Drive Technology software extends system memory to Optane SSDs transparently to the OS and essentially makes 3D XPoint-based drives appear like DRAM to the OS and applications. The software was introduced in 2018 alongside the Optane SSD DC P4800X/P4801X as well as Optane SSD 900P/905P drives and was designed primarily to expand system memory capacity on first-gen Intel Xeon Scalable (and older) machines in a very cost-efficient way, as 3D XPoint is significantly cheaper than DRAM.
Back in 2018, Intel sold its 1st Generation Xeon Scalable processors (and even their predecessors) that did not support yet-to-be-launched Optane Persistent Memory modules, so the Memory Drive Technology software made quite a lot of sense for the company and its customers that needed a cheap system memory expansion for their in-memory applications. In mid-2019 the company introduced its 2nd Generation Xeon Scalable ‘Cascade Lake’ CPUs that added support for Optane Persistent Memory Modules and it became even easier for its clients to expand system memory using 3D XPoint-based PMMs.
By now, the share of outdated Xeon CPUs in Intel’s shipments has probably dropped so significantly that it no longer needs either MDT or drives that come with it. To that end, it does not make sense to keep the SKUs in the catalog. Meanwhile, regular Optane DC P4800X SSDs will continue to be shipped as Intel has not announced any plans about them.