Like the bogeyman in the closet, the memory wall is lurking out there in the future. Unfortunately, unlike the bogeyman, the memory wall isn’t hidden away or a figment of our imagination but a real problem that draws closer with every passing month. Building up instead of out provides a solution. Enter the hybrid memory cube, which takes memory 3-D in order to provide high-speed, high-efficiency performance in a space 90% smaller than for today’s RDIMMs.
The first draft of the standard
came out last summer and focused on interface protocol and short-reach interconnection across the physical layer (PHY). The next step is to define an ultra-short-reach PHY for applications requiring tightly coupled or close proximity memory support for FPGAs, ASICs and ASSPs. Look for progress to accelerate over the course of the coming year. Twenty bucks goes to the first person who can find a 2013 memory conference that doesn’t have at least one paper talking about 3-D memory.