From the sounds of it, they basically laid a bunch of memory chips down, stacked 'em up, then poked them full of high-speed pathways. What a simple but brilliant idea if it truly works.
It'd be wise for chip-makers to look into developmental partnerships with Micron on this one. Getting this kind of tech integrated into CPUs and/or Northbridges, or even simpler SOC designs would be pretty huge.
TSV technology is really hot topic at the semicon industry at the moment. Samsung has demonstrated similar stacked memory modules couple months ago. The problem still is the cost of stacking the modules. Much more expensive than having them side by side on the PCB.
quite agree. video is becoming integrated, why not also RAM which could be made more than enough for its specific usage and lifespan of the system.
[citation][nom]house70[/nom]This is the first step towards a RAM-less system, where you can cram enough memory in a cache-type CPU to make RAM obsolete. Otherwise, the transfer rate would be limited by the mobo/northbridge.[/citation]
Now "all" they need to do is incorporate some thermal conduction channels (either fluid or metal, whichever works better) into this concept so that a Chipset-CPU-GPU-SRAM-DRAM stack can be cooled down enough to avoid dopant migration, and they're onto something. The socket for such a thing would need to include the SB port pins (SATA, USB, HD Audio, etc.), plus the video outputs (HDMI / DP), plus perhaps a few PCIe channels for other peripherals. An expandable version might have a single memory channel as well. I could see this being a success as a laptop-on-a-chip, or an office desktop-on-a-chip, as well as a server performance add-in module for a VM host. That memory bandwidth is in the same realm as the top-end discrete GPUs of today, so if the power and heat problems can be solved then this even facilitates a viable gaming computer on-a-chip. Of course, that's an awful lot of power and heat to manage on a single chip, though you would be able to save some by reducing the power consumed in chip-to-chip interconnect circuits and amplifiers.
This is going to be interesting to see where it goes.
I see people saying about being used as a cpu cache but the article doesn't state about the latency which is very important for caches(a normal CPU L1 cache should have 1 to a very few CPU clock cycles).. and I am guessing it does have a latency comparable to todays DRAM modules if not greater... Let's just wait and see ...
but my bet is that this tech is not for caches, but for regular DRAM usage
[citation][nom]Lekko[/nom]What kinda thermal properties does it have? Something that gets hot sandwiched between more things that get hot sounds bad, however it uses far less juice, so it might balance out. Good work guys![/citation]
Well, it says it's only going to need 10% of the power of equivalent DDR RAM, so I'd assume if it's using less power it will produce less heat.
[citation][nom]JohnnyLucky[/nom]Sounds interesting. Does anyone have any idea how it might affect Adobe Photoshop products? Would there be any performance boost?[/citation]
That would depend on if your existing CPU and chipset are often bottlenecked by memory bandwidth limitations, which I don't think many are.