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Thursday, 27 February 2014 11:22

New spec for Hybrid Memory Cube memory technology

Written by Nick Farrell



Could this replace DDR3?

The Hybrid Memory Cube Consortium, which aims to replace standard DDR3 has proposed a faster and more power-efficient specification for its emerging Hybrid Memory Cube technology. The HMC Gen2 specification doubles the throughput of the original specification and could provide 15 times the bandwidth of a standard DDR3 module, while consuming 70 percent less energy.

The new specification could speed up calculations in supercomputers, boost in-memory computing for applications like databases, or aid in providing faster response times to web requests. HMC technology is based on current DDR3 DRAM but memory modules are structured like a cube instead of being placed flat on a motherboard. By stacking memory chips in a cube it is possible to link them through a wire-like connection called Through Silicon Via. HMC is being seen as a link technology to things like MRAM (magnetoresistive RAM), RRAM (resistive RAM) and PCM (phase-change memory), which are still years away from being useful.

HMC Gen2 specification boosts memory throughput to 30G bps (bits per second), which is double that of the previous specification. The Gen2 specification will be finalized by the middle of this year, and will replace the previous specification released in the middle of last year.

HMC is being pushed by Samsung and Micron and members of the consortium include Microsoft, ARM, Altera and Xilinx. Micron has released HMC products with multiple memory channels with throughput speed of 160GBps (bytes per second). With the new specification, throughput of that memory product could double, Black said.

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