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Intel's Embedded DRAM: New Era of Cache Memory

Overcoming SRAMís scaling
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rick merritt
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Re: Intel eDRAM vs IBM
rick merritt   8/8/2014 5:38:45 PM
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@AD2010: Yes, someone told me recently Intel had the early eDRAM patents but IBM was the first to really make use of the technology in a big way, perhaps licensing itsa rival's technology.

Is IBM's trench approach tied to its use of SOI?

AD2010
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Intel eDRAM vs IBM
AD2010   8/8/2014 4:33:44 PM
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hello all,

sorry for the delay, I was in vacation when the article got posted.

Here are my comments, some of them are already answered; Answering multiple comments.

1/IBM eDRAM is there from quite some time not sure if it is a decade old... IBM was a pioneer in eDRAM.

IBM latest eDRAM is 45 nm on SOI with trench technology,  while Intel eDRAM is with FinFETS and is using 22 nm technology and is based on MIM technology.

 

Intel has very old patents on eDRAM, so most likely it had this technology in their R&D sections.

It is more difficult to shrink trench technolgy. So Intel has an advantage over IBM.

 

2/ YES, Intel used 8T SRAM and will probably continue to use SRAMs along with eDRAMs but eDRAMS will take the major load as they occupy less space. Our structral anlysis reports show that Intel has used several types of SRAM but all of them take more space than eDRAM. eDRAM is a real estate saviour which is critical for future nodes.

 

We have not analyzed the eDRAM characteristics yet so cannot comment about the refresh times, the information providedin the article is taken from Intel's presentations in conferences.

 

3/ MRAM could be a potential  candidate but it is still not manufacturable ready in terms of cost effectiveness and memory size.

AD2010
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Intel eDRAM vs IBM
AD2010   8/8/2014 4:33:32 PM
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hello all,

sorry for the delay, I was in vacation when the article got posted.

Here are my comments, some of them are already answered; Answering multiple comments.

1/IBM eDRAM is there from quite some time not sure if it is a decade old... IBM was a pioneer in eDRAM.

IBM latest eDRAM is 45 nm on SOI with trench technology,  while Intel eDRAM is with FinFETS and is using 22 nm technology and is based on MIM technology.

 

Intel has very old patents on eDRAM, so most likely it had this technology in their R&D sections.

It is more difficult to shrink trench technolgy. So Intel has an advantage over IBM.

 

2/ YES, Intel used 8T SRAM and will probably continue to use SRAMs along with eDRAMs but eDRAMS will take the major load as they occupy less space. Our structral anlysis reports show that Intel has used several types of SRAM but all of them take more space than eDRAM. eDRAM is a real estate saviour which is critical for future nodes.

 

We have not analyzed the eDRAM characteristics yet so cannot comment about the refresh times, the information providedin the article is taken from Intel's presentations in conferences.

 

3/ MRAM could be a potential  candidate but it is still not manufacturable ready in terms of cost effectiveness and memory size.

ssliva
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Re: on chip eDRAM at IBM
ssliva   8/8/2014 1:24:56 PM
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Intel eDRAM is MIM, not trench like IBM's.  Potentially changes the logic process's metal stack if they try to integrate it on the processor chip.  Though perhaps not.

ssliva
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Re: on chip eDRAM at IBM
ssliva   8/8/2014 1:21:25 PM
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Not exactly true.  The logic-process compatible eDRAM is old, but POWER4, POWER5 and POWER6 used huge MCMs where the processors were SOI and in the MCM were large L3 cache chips using a bulk logic process with eDRAM.  POWER6's discrete eDRAM L3 might've switched to SOI, and that presaged the switch to a single POWER7 chip with eDRAM on the processor die.  POWER7 launched in 2010, so not really a decade for on-processor eDRAM, though they did have the trench-eDRAM with SOI tech to do it a bit sooner.

resistion
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CEO
Re: Intel's eDRAM
resistion   8/8/2014 1:17:45 PM
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My MRAM colleagues may hope to replace DRAM with MRAM but we should keep our minds open.

aarunaku
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Re: on chip eDRAM at IBM
aarunaku   8/8/2014 1:10:17 PM
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@ Viollencelles,

You are absolutely right. I wonder what is different about Intel's version of eDRAM vs. IBM. Is it SOI vs. Bulk?

resistion
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Re: Intel's eDRAM
resistion   8/8/2014 1:00:17 PM
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I know they were starting to use 8T SRAM, that was a sign of problems for 6T. I assume the refresh controller will only refresh cells containing data. These could be sparse.

Violoncelles
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on chip eDRAM at IBM
Violoncelles   8/8/2014 3:03:24 AM
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IBM has been using on chip eDRAM on its chips for more than a decade .

resistion
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CEO
Re: Intel's eDRAM
resistion   8/8/2014 2:23:41 AM
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IIRC, refresh rate is lower for eDRAM, but not 0.

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