Hybrid Memory Cube Is Speedy And Compact
The Hybrid Memory Cube (HMC) multi-chip module (MCM) that aims to address one of the biggest challenges in high performance computing: scaling the memory wall.
(The actual Cube is on the far corner of the board)
The speedup and better energy efficiency is achieved principally through parallelism. Because the memory chips are stacked, there is more space for I/O pins through the TSVs. Thus each DRAM can be accessed with more (and/or wider) channels. The end result is that the controller can access many more banks of memory concurrently than can be accomplished with a two-dimensional DIMM. And because the controller and DRAM chips are in close proximity, latencies can be extremely low.
(IBM Will Chip in on Micron's 3D Hybrid Memory Cube)
The Hybrid Memory Cube (HMC) is a new memory architecture that combines a high-speed logic layer with a stack of through-silicon-via (TSV) bonded memory die that enables impressive advantages over current technology. According to company figures, a single HMC offers a 15x performance increase and uses 70 percent less energy per bit when compared to DDR3 memory, and takes up 90 percent less space than today's RDIMMs. The Cube is also scalable per application, which is not possible with DDR3 and DDR4. System designers have the option of employing the HMC as near memory for best performance or in a scalable module form factor, as far memory, for optimum power efficiency.
Still a year away from production, pricing for Cube products has not been announced, but early adopters should expect to pay a premium for the benefits of increased performance, power efficiency and space savings. The exascale community, in particular, will be paying close attention. If they're to realize their goal of a 10^18 FLOPS machine within a 20MW power envelope, they'll need all the help they can get.
(Micron Readies Hybrid Memory Cube for Debut)
One way or another, we'll get to our favorite super science fictional memory systems. I was thinking about the Schrön Loop from Dan Simmons' 1989 novelHyperion, the
memory diamond from Charles Stross' 2004 novel Iron Sunrise and the Welton Cube from Robert Heinlein's 1973 collection Time Enough For Love.
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