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Intel makes on-CPU system RAM breakthrough

updated 09:50 am EDT, Thu June 19, 2008

Intel On CPU RAM Discovery

Intel has developed an updated technology that could virtually solve questions of memory speed, the semiconductor firm has revealed at its recent Research@Intel event. Developers at the company have created dynamic RAM that behaves like typical system memory but needs just two transistors for each memory cell and which needs no capacitors. The invention makes dynamic RAM small enough that it can be embedded in a processor rather than put into a separate module, potentially eliminating several bottlenecks inherent to the static RAM used for cache on current processors.

A processor that complements or replaces existing cache would have much more on-chip bandwidth than any current processor and would be tied to clock speed, according to Intel. Where a 45-nanometer, quad-core Xeon currently has some of the fastest bandwidth available at between 18 to 20 gigabytes per second, a basic 2GHz processor made on an older 65-nanometer process could shuttle data at 128 gigabytes per second. Dynamic RAM also promises more storage in the same space and a lower price that could translate to the processors themselves.

The advancement could effectively overhaul Intel's approach to its chip designs as well that of programmers. Very fast memory access is considered critical to future many-core processors and may be necessary for the production equivalent of Intel's 80-core Teraflops Research Chip; developers writing for this and related processors may also depend on always having guaranteed access to cache, which would be virtually guaranteed with the cache becoming faster along with processors.

Intel hasn't said when or if it first expects to implement its two-transistor dynamic RAM into future chips, though mainstream processors with eight to 16 cores are due within the next few years.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. Demonike

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008

    0

    How is this possible?

    "Where a 45-nanometer, quad-core Xeon currently has some of the fastest bandwidth available at between 18 to 20 gigabytes per second, a basic 2GHz processor made on an older 65-nanometer process could shuttle data at 128 gigabytes per second."

    The older tech being over 6 times faster than the contemporary quad-core?

  1. UberFu

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2002

    0

    all it's going to do

    is replace the current FSB mechanism in place_

    The FSB is still a sepereate process today which is sandwiched onto the chip to help create short to non-existant latency times when cruch data_

    They look like they've found a way to integrate it directly into the chip via RAM instead_ The RAM will speed that process up and having it integrated directly ino the chip makes it that much quicker additionally_

    With these you probably won't see seperate dedicated RAM chips going away as that still surves a different purpose_ What this most likely means is that if it works and is cost effective - it's the next step past chip makers marketing "clock speeds" and now Mutli-core processors

    As silicon technology is getting pretty much maxed out in the near future - chip makers are in fast-forward looking for ideas that will extend the life expectancy of the current chip technology

  1. UberFu

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2002

    +5

    macnn...

    You're new commenting system still sucks a few months later_

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