Micron has presented its latest progress in the development of RAM products and its Hybrid Memory Cube technology promises up to 20 faster memory modules than current DDR3 products. The HMC technology was presented at Hot Chips last week and Micron showed a sample circuit with capacity to reach speeds up to 128 gigabyte per second.
Micron’s HMC modules have already reached speeds 10 times higher than current DDR3 memory modules where DDR3-1600 is capable of data speeds up to 12.8 gigabyte per second.
When Micron is ready with retail products is another story, but the company claims to be able to offer 20 times higher bandwidth as DDR3 and do it with only 10% of the energy needed to power modern modules.
Hybrid Memory Cube stacks and binds together several layers of memory chips in a three dimensional memory circuit. To make the data paths as efficient as possible between the stacked chips it uses TSV connections (Through-silicon via) that lets signals pass right through the silicon. Through its 3D construction Micron claims that the technology will require 90% less space than traditional RDIMM modules.
The high number of TSV connections and the relatively short distances will be the key to the high data speeds, which could remedy the memory bottle necks we have today. Clear examples of this is the new Fusion APUs from AMD where several integrated CPU cores and powerful graphics circuits will have to share a very limited memory bandwidth.
Micron says that the HMC technology will break through the ”memory wall” where it talks about how the developmentin this area most often result in just marginal improvements, unlike CPU and GPU markets where the coimputing power continues to improve at a much higher speed.
The question is when we will see the HMC technology in products, but there are not real hints of when this might happen.