Wen: Huazai at the front
In the development of the digital world, data storage is an absolutely important part. In this field, Intel is driving the upgrading and transformation of the entire industry with its evolving technology and solutions.
Recently, the reporters at the front line were invited to attend the Intel memory and storage media communication meeting, which was held in the Intel Dalian storage technology production and research base (Intel Dalian factory). So in addition to learning Intel's new development in the field of storage, the front line delegation also visited Intel's Dalian factory in an all-round way. Combined with the introduction, they have a deep understanding of the future development direction of Intel 3D NAND and Altair technologies.
Plant evolution foresees the future of data
With its reputation, Intel's Dalian plant has evolved in response to the data trend since it was built. It has become one of the most outstanding Intel plants in the world.
The picture shows Liang Zhiquan, vice president of Intel's nonvolatile storage solutions business unit and general manager of Intel's Dalian storage technology and manufacturing base
At this communication meeting, Liang Zhiquan, vice president of Intel's non-volatile storage solutions business unit and general manager of Intel's Dalian storage technology and manufacturing base, made a comprehensive introduction to Intel's Dalian factory. He said that there are two types of Intel's factories around the world, one is the wafer manufacturing factory, the other is the packaging and testing factory, among which the technology of the wafer manufacturing factory will be more More complicated. At present, Intel has wafer manufacturing plants in Ireland, the United States and Israel. Dalian is Intel's only wafer manufacturing plant in Asia.
In fact, it is worth noting that the full name of Intel Dalian factory is Intel Dalian storage technology production and research base (DMTm), which not only produces products, but also undertakes part of the research and development work.
Intel Dalian plant was founded in 2007 and put into full production in 2011. Dalian factory is the first Fab factory built by Intel since it established F10 Fab in Ireland in 1992. It is also Intel's first Fab manufacturing factory in Asia, with a total investment of 2.5 billion US dollars and a total construction area of 163000 square meters, including 15000 square meters of clean workshop area.
In the early days, the Dalian plant mainly produced 65nm products, and then by 2015, Intel announced that it would invest $5.5 billion in the future to upgrade the Dalian plant to
It is worth mentioning that in the early stage of Dalian factory production, Dalian factory won the highest group award within Intel.
The gold award is the joint efforts of all employees in Dalian factory. It is understood that when Dalian factory was just put into production, many employees were local, and most of them were just graduated students, lack of experience, so they sent a lot of employees to Arizona factory to study, learn to return to China for production. And the surprise is that when employees come back from training, the quality index of the same products is higher than that of the Arizona factory. This is also the reason why Dalian factory can get the gold medal of quality in a short period of production.
After the investment upgrade in 2015, Dalian factory has become one of the most advanced technologies in Intel's global manufacturing network of nonvolatile memory products integrated circuits using 300mm wafer. In July 2016, the first phase of the Dalian plant project was officially put into production, and the following year, two new data center-class solid-state disks based on 3D NAND, Intel, were released.
It should also be mentioned that after transforming into a 3D NAND storage technology factory, Dalian factory won the Intel quality gold award again in 2018.
In fact, Intel Dalian factory has won more than that. In addition to Intel Quality Gold Award, Intel Dalian factory has also won Intel Dalian best employer award, Dalian excellent foreign enterprise, Dalian safety culture demonstration enterprise and other awards. This award also shows that Intel Dalian factory has become an outstanding corporate citizen in Dalian based on its own country.
During the visit, the overall green production environment and internal production plants of Dalian factory impressed the reporters at the front. Intel Dalian plant is the first enterprise in Dalian to disclose environmental performance. It always adopts the highest environmental standard in operation and sets up a green operation benchmark. Intel Dalian plant also actively recovers and processes all kinds of waste generated in the operation of the plant. In 2018, the waste recovery rate reached 97%, and 15 green ecological energy-saving projects were completed, saving 3.3 million kilowatt hours in total.
In the exhibition area of Intel's Dalian factory, Intel personnel who led the tour introduced the complete manufacturing process from sand to chip in detail. At the same time, on the overall sand table of Intel Dalian plant, there is an area marked with phase II project, which indicates that Intel Dalian plant will continue to expand. In fact, after upgrading to 3D NAND storage technology factory, Dalian factory has achieved mass production in one year. By 2017, the 3D NAND products produced by Dalian factory have been in short supply. The expansion of phase II project is also for the purpose of further improving the capacity of Dalian factory.
This time, we visited Fab 68A factory, which is responsible for producing Intel 3D NAND chips. Fab 68A plant has four floors in total, which is the largest plant of Intel at present. The core dust-free workshop is located on the third floor, with a cleanliness of class 10, and the internal pressure is higher than the external pressure.
Not only that, the dust-free workshop of Fab 68A plant has a very high degree of automation. The robots responsible for transporting wafers are all running in the upper part of the room. On the one hand, it is convenient for management, on the other hand, it is to save space. In this dust-free workshop, there is still a large area of open space, which is about to be built and put into production.
It is worth mentioning that the automation system of Intel Dalian factory is designed by itself. According to Liang Zhiquan, the software system of other companies was used in the early years, and after the termination of the cooperation, the system was ready to be converted. It was thought that it would take two to three years to run the MES system independently. In fact, the Dalian factory completed the conversion within a few months.
Advanced technology and new flash memory to deal with data flood
Data challenge is a more and more obvious digital transformation problem in recent years. In the early storage field, DRAM, NAND and HDD are three kinds of storage media. Because of the limited amount of early data, DRAM memory, NAND flash memory and HDD mechanical hard disk are the main storage media. With the explosion of data size, the differences among the three storage media are gradually obvious.
As we all know, DRAM industry is facing a new challenge. On the one hand, the huge storage demand brought by new technologies such as 5g and Internet of things, on the other hand, its capacity and performance gradually slow down. These two factors form the contradiction of DRAM storage.
The picture shows Liu Gang, general manager of Intel China non-volatile storage business unit
Liu Gang, general manager of Intel's non-volatile storage division in China, says more and more companies are paying attention to it.
In this case, it is easy to observe the future trend of different storage media. Take dram as an example, the capacity growth rate of DRAM is slower. When the data of the whole data center is roughly tripled every three years, the capacity of DRAM storage is tripled every four years, and the capacity of hard disk is tripled every nine years. NAND storage conforms to this mechanism, which is tripled every two years.
In other words, when the data volume grows faster and faster, DRAM and hard disk can easily not keep up with this growth rate, but the capacity growth of NAND can.
In addition to capacity growth, there is also a delay problem. According to Liu Gang, NAND's capacity increases rapidly, but from MLC to TLC to QLC, in fact, its delay does not improve, but it will decrease from TLC to QLC. From the perspective of delay, the delay between the new NAND and the processor can not be improved. In this regard, DRAM with short delay can not get rapid growth in capacity, which forms a new gap.
In addition to capacity and latency, there are bandwidth issues. The capacity of NAND is growing rapidly. By QLC, the capacity is at least 8tb. From the interface alone, if you still use the SATA interface, the bandwidth shared by each unit of TB is reduced. That is to say, with the increase of capacity points, the bandwidth shared by each unit of TB becomes lower.
These three problems exist in the storage level, how to solve them? New products are needed to meet these needs, Liu said.
At present, there is a big gap in capacity and delay between DRAM and 3D NAND. Intel has given two solutions to fill the gap: one is to expand the capacity of memory level, and the other is to improve the speed of NAND, which can be solved based on 3D xpoint.
Alten is Intel's innovative technology solution in the face of data torrent. At present, Intel has launched two kinds of alten products, one is alten data center level persistent memory, the other is alten DC solid-state disk. Its purpose is to expand memory capacity and improve NAND speed.
Compared with NAND, aoteng's structure has better expansibility. With a deck, the capacity can be doubled. At present, aoteng is basically two-tier. According to the introduction, Intel aoteng products will be improved to four tier next, and there will be eight tier in the future. The capacity and performance can be greatly improved.
In terms of time delay, aoteng DC solid-state disk based on 3D xpoint technology can provide better delay performance. For example, in the on-site introduction of the communication meeting, under the low queue depth, the IOPs of Intel Itanium solid state disk DC p4800x is multiplied compared with Intel solid state disk DC p4600; and under different QoS, with the improvement of IOPs, the read delay of Intel Itanium solid state disk DC p4800x has no significant change, and the delay of Intel solid state disk DC p4600 will be greatly increased.
Based on the progress of aoteng technology, Intel will also launch high-quality storage products that are more in line with the needs of the industry. In terms of helping industry customers, Inspur and Intel jointly announced that they will deepen their cooperation in the field of storage, and jointly promote the application and promotion of innovative storage technology represented by aotane SSD in enterprise level storage systems.
Sun Bin, deputy general manager of Inspur storage products
At the communication meeting, Sun Bin, deputy general manager of Inspur storage products department, said that in the field of solid-state storage technology, Inspur storage and Intel are jointly developing the new dual port nvme SSD as the cache full flash storage platform, on the other hand, they will jointly promote the industry scenario solution, and promote the real-time business deployment of industry users in combination with business scenarios On a full flash storage platform.
In the past year, Inspur and Intel have been on the same platform in different places for many times. As a part of the storage ecosystem, Inspur established the storage brand in 2002, and promoted the storage business line to a strategic position in 2016, focusing on R & D, which is committed to bringing more value heterogeneous storage combinations to customers. Cooperate with Intel to optimize CEPH scheme based on the powerful performance of aoteng solid-state disk, which can bring more capacity and save cost under the same TCO.
In addition to accelerating the technological progress of Intel aoteng to the fourth deck, Intel is also producing a new generation of NAND SSD. Liu Gang said that at present, a new generation of NAND SSD is also being produced in Dalian factory.
At present, NAND SSD mainly has two structure designs, one is Intel floating gate, the other is charge trap. The two designs are quite different in structure. For example, in the figure above, the floating gate is light blue, and the yellow part is insulator. Through the tunneling effect, electrons are captured into the blue part. In the floating gate technology architecture, each layer is disconnected, while in the charge trap, the charge is captured by the insulator in the middle. By default, the electron will not escape after entering. When the number of layers is limited, the charge trap architecture is feasible. When there are too many layers, the electronic escape can not be guaranteed.
Liu Gang said that at present, Intel's QLC particles use 96 layer stacking. By 2020, Intel will provide customers with 144 layer stacking QLC products. Its application in the data center is very reliable, and many customers have tested it and are deploying QLC.
Of course, in the face of the challenges of data storage, Intel's preparation is not only these, the number of layers stack is limited, but also to increase the density of each unit, moving forward to PLC.
Acceleration of transformation:Intel Dalian factory leads industry upgrading
Intel Dalian factory is not only Intel's core driving force with data center as the center, but also an accelerator to accelerate the digital transformation of Chinese enterprises.
Based on Artem technology, Intel Artem data center level persistent memory and solid-state disk have been applied to storage, cloud, database, AI, communication and other fields, and rich product forms also promote the digital upgrading of different business scenarios.
At the communication meeting, Intel demonstrated its cooperation with many domestic enterprises, such as Intel alten data center level persistent memory, which enables Tencent cloud to expand the single instance memory capacity to 1.34 times of the DRAM memory platform; Intel alten data center level persistent memory reduces the TCO of redis service by 30%; Intel's full flash product portfolio, combined with With Intel Xeon scalable processor, baidu intelligent cloud has achieved better performance in stability, IOPs and other aspects.
At the same time, Intel Dalian factory is based on the local market and pays attention to the training of local talents. Through a unique senior management training plan system, it has achieved talent localization in a short period of time and made outstanding contributions to the cultivation of local semiconductor talents in Dalian. At the beginning of production, more than 300 employees need to be arranged for professional training in the United States and Ireland, and more than 200 foreign employees need to be assigned to work in China. At present, the proportion of foreign and local talents of key executives in the factory has changed from 7:3 ten years ago to 2:8 today.
In addition, Intel Dalian factory regards corporate social responsibility as the fundamental concept of operation. It not only uses its own technical advantages to participate in solving social problems and promoting the harmonious and sustainable development of society, but also promotes the cultivation of local innovative talents through educational reform projects, so as to create an all-round cultivation of innovative talents from the perspectives of learning from a small university, from students to teachers, from within class to outside class System.
At the front line, we believe that from Intel Dalian factory, we have not only learned from Intel's evolving storage technology. In the product field, Intel aoteng's product line is constantly enriched. Facing the future, Intel aoteng has demonstrated a very dynamic growth, recognized by more and more industry users, making Intel play an increasingly important role in the field of data storage. Through a series of localization measures, Intel Dalian plant will also become a pearl in Intel's global plant, continuously leading the evolution of domestic and even global industries.