Micron develops 'Hyper Memory Cube' technology

By on February 14, 2011, 8:30 AM
Memory-chip maker Micron has unveiled a new hybrid memory technology that it claims should offer a 20-fold performance boost over chips currently used in personal computers, while reducing the size of the chip and consuming about one-tenth of the power. Speaking to Cnet, the company said its development breaks a longstanding problem referred to as the "memory wall" to deliver "a staggering amount of DRAM bandwidth directly to the processor."

Essentially, DRAM performance today is constrained by the capacity of the data channel that sits between the memory and the processor. This channel often becomes a choke point for data, no matter how much faster the DRAM chip itself gets, which was more recently evidenced in the industry's slow transition from DDR2 to DDR3 as desktop and notebook makers weren't really seeing a big enough improvement to warrant the move.


There isn't much in the way of technical details at the moment but it would appear that Micron is leveraging memory architecture knowledge from its Numonix acquisition last year to stack several memory layers atop each other and adding a controller chip right into the memory substrate. This not only allows a higher speed bus that will go from the controller chip to the CPU, it also means that memory could be packed more densely in a given volume.

The company hopes to see the so-called "Hybrid Memory Cube" technology in server and networking markets as early as 2012, with significant volumes in 2013, and could then start to work their way toward the consumer space in 2015.




User Comments: 3

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madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Ironically I could see this tech being interfaced via DDR3/4 initially in the consumer market, completely defeating the purpose of the new memory tech (specifically speed, though denser capacity and power consumption advantages *should* still be there).

hitech0101 said:

I will go for it if it does offer 20 fold boost as it claims.

Guest said:

Yes, of course you would. However, the cost of production is going to be relatively high and Micron will be capable of charging a very high premium. It really will stay in this market for some time until TSV technology hits mainstream with all chip manufacturers. It's a whole new field, though. For example, putting a logic chip here means they can provide repairability for failed bitlines, integrated error correction, fast caching and integration with other types of memory along the hierachy (such as an SRAM for faster accesses, Phase Change for more density) and ultimately create the 'universal' memory we've been seeking for some time - all one "die".

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