Do you recall my column from a couple of months ago in which I was introduced to Micron's next-generation universal memory technology, the hybrid memory cube (HMC)? It involves a chip package containing a 3D stack of DRAM memory die connected using through-silicon vias, as illustrated below.
Micron's hybrid memory cube (HMC).
A single HMC can produce an incredible data bandwidth of 160 GBytes/sec, thereby providing more than 15 times the performance of a state-of-the-art DDR3 memory module while consuming 70% less power. (Multiple HMCs can be chained together to appear as a single, mega-humongous memory.)
From what I hear, the EX-800 blade server from Pico Computing is the buzz of the Super Computing Conference, which is currently in full swing in Denver.
Pico Computing's EX-800 blade server.
The EX-800 is a PCI Express board that features the combination of an HMC and four Altera Stratix V FPGAs (providing 3.6M FPGA gates). The massively parallel computational capabilities of the FPGAs can be used to drive the HMC at full speed. Key features of the EX-800 include:
- 160 GB/s of memory bandwidth
- 16 full-duplex lane connections from the HMC to each of the four Stratix V FPGAs
- A 4GB Micron DDR3L SODIMM dedicated to each of the four FPGAs (32 GB total)
- PCI Express Gen 3 full duplex switch
- x16 Gen3 PCI Express to the host
- x8 Gen3 PCI Express link to each Stratix V FPGA
The amount of digital data in the world is increasing at a tremendous rate. Some say the world's data is doubling every two years, while others say it's doubling every year. A wide variety of big data applications -- including bioinformatics, financial trading, imaging, and surveillance -- require the ability to capture and process an ever-increasing volume of data at faster rates. Pico Computing says the extreme bandwidth and exceptionally low latency offered by the EX-800 will enable significant advances in these and other industries.
— Max Maxfield, Editor of All Things Fun & Interesting