Moore’s Law seems in jeopardy with some recent memory design innovations by IBM. The new design triples the amount of memory on a microprocessor and marks the fastest access times ever recorded with eDRAM (pictured).
The new eDRAM requires about one-third the space of prior designs and vastly improves microprocessor performance in multi-core designs, graphics for gaming, and networking performance. The new memory also has significantly lower power requirements – needing only one-fifth the standby power of conventional SRAM.
SRAM or Static RAM is a fast volatile memory and preserves data only while continuously powered. SRAM has low power consumption but takes up considerable space on chips. DRAM or Dynamic RAM is commonly used in personal computers as a separate chip. Historically, DRAM has been considered too slow to be integrated directly onto the microprocessor.
IBM presented the breakthrough on-chip memory technology at the International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC). The technology will become available beginning in 2008 and is expected to be an important part of IBM’s 45nm microprocessor design.