|"...The RAM market faces
disruptive challenges from SSDs
- just as hard disks
have done. At some time during the next 5 years - most of the world's new
DRAM will be deployed inside an SSD or an SSD controlled loop. Owning an SSD
brand will be as important in the new market for memory makers as getting
designed into tier 1 server slots was in the past. Commercial RAM makers will
have to re-engineer themselves into SSD companies - or risk lower profit
margins from selling to SSD brands at spot market prices from outside the SSD
|...Editor:- talking to a market strategist in one
of the world's biggest seminconductor companies in June 2011.|
|Hybrid Memory Cube spec
ready for chip designers|
Editor:- April 3, 2013 - back in
October 2011 - I
reported on this page the formation of a new industry
ORG - the Hybrid Memory Cube Consortium
- which could have an impact on future SSD packaging densities.
takes a while to get these things going - but according to
press release this week by one of the founding companies - Micron - the 100 plus
companies which are collaborating in this enterprise have agreed on an
A key feature of the new multiplane memory
architecture is that distributed memory controllers in an HMC module will
handle the data I/O packet requests for the bunch of stacked memory chips in its
own vault. This is similar to the distributed intelligent data mover concept
which is already used in all proprietary
SSD controller designs - because it's the only way you can get good
aggregated global system performance while also dealing with low level
local memory management issues at low latency.
As with earlier
generations of remote distributed memory interfaces - such as
InfiniBand - HMC is
designed to optimize the request of small packets - which in the case of HMC is
16 to 128 bytes of data.
With today's semiconductor speeds -
accessing the data in those distributed memory chips within the same HMC module
presents similar technical problems to distributed memory cards in traditional
computer designs - because traversing inches of physical space at high speed is
as difficult as moving data across tens of feet at slower speeds.
has been born as a DRAM
technology - but don't ignore it - just for that reason. (Or because the data
packet sizes are small compared to the block sizes in
nand flash.) If and when
these HMC packaging ideas result in viable products - the ideas and
methodologies will spill into SSDs too -regardless of what the underlying
memories used in SSDs may be at that time.
It's all about speed and
scalability. According to the HMC
faqs page - A single (1st generation) HMC unit can provide more than 15x
the bandwidth of a DDR3 module. See also:-
SSD interface glue chips.
Micron sources power holdup technology for NVDIMMs
November 14, 2012 - Micron
has signed an
agreement with AgigA Tech to
collaborate to develop and offer nonvolatile DIMM (NVDIMM) products using
AgigA's PowerGEM (sudden power loss
controller and holdup modules).
Virtium screens for cooler running DRAM
13, 2012 - Virtium
Technology has launched a new range of
low power DDR3L
memory modules - in 4GB and 8GB capacities - which have been designed
using a combination of techniques including screening for lowest total
electrical current and thermal-relief copper pour methodology PCB design.
This reduces DRAM surface temperatures up to 10°C which can
also increase performance in hot systems - because the need to perform double
refresh rates (at or above 85°C) is obviated.
NEC Hitachi Memory dream ends in Elpida bankruptcy
Editor:- February 27, 2012 - Elpida today announced
it is reorganizing under the code of the bankruptcy laws in Japan.
comments:- The company's
press release (pdf)
relates a detailed history of problems starting in 2007 with the credit
crunch, over capacity, falling RAM prices, increasing strength of Yen etc.
The company - Japan's biggest surviving RAM maker - started out as NEC Hitachi
Memory in 1999 and changed its name to Elpida in 2000.
Elpida never got
into the SSD market. Now it looks like it never will.
A report in the
New York Times says -
bankruptcy filing is the biggest ever by a Japan-based manufacturer..."
Viking ships nv 8GB DDR3 DIMM
Editor:- October 18,
Viking Modular Solutions
said it is shipping
extension of their nv module range.
ArxCis-NV plugs into standard
RAM sockets and provides
2GB to 8GB RAM which is backed up to SLC flash in the
event of a
power failure - while the memory power is held up by an optional external
25F supercap pack. Viking says these new memory modules can eliminate the need
for battery backup units in servers and the maintenance logistics associated
with maintaining them. They are specified as being maintenance free for "5
years @ 60°C".
Editor's comments:- will these new
modules replace batteries in
RAM SSDs? - I doubt it
- because of scalability issues - like managing a spiderweb of 100+ dangly
bits of wire when you have a terabyte of RAM. Having said that - there are many
applications which only use a small number of memory chips which could benefit
from such a product.
Hybrid Memory Cube will enable Petabyte SSDs
October 7, 2011 - Samsung
and Micron this
week launched an new industry initiative - the Hybrid Memory Cube Consortium
- which will standardize a new module architecture for memory chips -
enabling greater density, faster bandwidth and lower power.
is unlike anything currently on the radar," said Robert Feurle,
Micron's VP for DRAM Marketing. "HMC brings a new level of capability to
memory that provides exponential performance and efficiency gains that will
redefine the future of memory."
Editor's comments:- HMC
may enable SSD designers to pack 10x more
RAM capacity into the same
space with upto 15x the bandwidth, while using 1/3 the power due
to its integrated power management plane.
The same technology will
enable denser flash SSDs too - if flash is still around in 3 years' time and
hasn't been sucked into the obsolete market slime pit by the
lurking nv demons
which have been shadowing flash for the past 10 years and been waiting for each
"next generation" to stumble and be the last.
management architecture integrated in HMC and the density scaling it allows
for packing memory chips (without heat build-up) are key technology enablers
which were listed as some of the problems the SSD industry needed to solve
in my 2010 article -
this way to the
|Partial list of past and present RAM
manufacturers - mentioned in
storage news /
AGIGA Tech ,
Apacer Memory America,
ATP Electronics, Austin Semiconductor,
Avant North America,
Micro Memory Bank,
Ramaxel Technology ,
Rocky Mountain Ram,
Memory, Silicon Power
Micro Systems, Spansion,
Viking Modular Solutions,
White Electronic Designs,
Winbond Electronics ,
Z Tech International.
|The world's first terabyte RAM SSDs were
launched in February
2003 by 2 competing companies (who were both SSD advertisers here on
StorageSearch.com at that time). |
fibre-channel SANs, the
Tera-RamSan (from Texas Memory Systems) and MegaRam-10000 (from Imperial
systems) each delivered about 1 million IOPS, consumed 5kW and cost around
....from the article -
|re RAM - by Zsolt Kerekes, editor|
|RAM - Random Access Memory
- is the fastest type of storage.|
It's implemented by silicon chips
which can contain upto thousands of millions of storage bits (gigabits)
connected in a randomly accessible array.
The "random access"
part of the RAM name was to differentiate RAM from earlier types of memory
(more than 30 years ago) which were stored in blocks (or rings) which meant that
reading or writing to selected memory bits involved processing the contents of
the block through a shift register. RAM was easier to write software for and
RAM has equal read and write access times (unlike
flash memory). Other
significant differences to flash are:-
- the data stored in a RAM is only maintained while the device is powered
up (is volatile)
- RAM doesn't suffer from write wear-out (endurance)
RAM products have different
designs and are optimized for various markets (such as servers, notebooks and
graphics cache) based on their speed, cost, interface and capacity.
- RAM is typically more expensive than flash for the same capacity, and
typically uses more electrical power. The exception is smaller capacity memories
inside a chip where the complexity of managing flash memory incurs more overhead
than the much simpler overheads in RAM.
earliest SSDs used battery backed RAMS.
RAM SSDs still exist in
2011 and are economic in some high performance applications and sometimes
use flash as the internal backup medium (instead of
hard disks) to enable
RAM is susceptible to random data corruption by radioactive
particles which occur naturally in many locations - and which also strike the
earth from cosmic rays. That's why ever since the earliest high density DRAM
memory systems were designed in the 1970s - it has been necessary to integrate
various types of error correction - ranging from simple parity checks, and error
correcting codes right up to active data monitoring and healing in high capacity
RAM SSDs which is implemented by dedicated RAM controllers.
found that RAM gave him the|
fastest access to what he was seeking.
| the Solid State
Disks Buyers Guide|
SSD Buyers Guide
lists all SSD products commercially available in the market by form factor,
interface type and memory technology. It also includes a summary of key
milestones in the SSD market in the past year. |
Party RAM, Your Rights on Server Warranties - article by Keystone Memory|
hard disk drives aren't
made by most of the companies from whom they buy their servers, notebooks and
desktops. But they are often intimidated from competitively buying 3rd party
upgrades by sales tactics aimed at locking them in to a single source.
tactics often hint that maintenance contracts and warranties will be void or
negatively impacted by the presence of 3rd party upgrade products. That kind of
anti competitive pressure is illegal in many countries. This article provides an
overview of the legal protection that users may have under a US law called
Magnuson and Moss. ...read