Inphi Corporation Announces New Tech That Could Quadruple Server Memory Capacity

Inphi Corporation today announced a new technology that can quadruple memory capacity in servers and workstations at DDR3-2133 rates and beyond. Inphi’s technology will enable the world’s highest capacity memory-per-channel at the highest data transfer frequency. The enabling component of the technology is Inphi’s isolation memory buffer (iMB™), which will reside electrically on a server DIMM between the memory controller and the DRAM, allowing it to buffer the data lines, as well as command, address and control lines.

With the advent of virtualization, multicore and multiprocessor systems, servers can attain improved utilization levels. However, there is a gap in the amount of memory capacity available to feed this improved utilization and Inphi’s new iMB technology will significantly narrow this gap. Until this technology is commercially available, the only option for designers is to expand memory capacity by using more expensive higher density DRAM components.

Inphi’s iMB technology delivers an optimal balance of capacity, power, cost, latency and is used in conjunction with DDR3 DRAMs, while extendable to DDR4.

The benefits of the iMB technology are:

  • Increased capacity by enabling up to 384 GB of mainstream DRAMs integrated into standard-sized DIMMs without the need for hardware changes. The iMB chip will transparently make multiple ranks of DRAMs look like a single rank of DRAM to the memory controller.
  • Compared to a BoB approach, iMB is a cost effective single chip solution that fits on both low profile DIMMs and very low profile DIMMs.
  • Improved receiver sensitivity, equalized transmitter buffers and reduced load on the data bus ensure this technology is extensible to data transfer rates of 2133 Mega Transfers per Second (MT/s) compared to today’s top rate of 1333 MT/s.

Inphi is currently manufacturing prototypes of the iMB and expects to deliver engineering samples to OEMs beginning in the summer of 2009. These activities will pave the way for productizing the iMB in the second half of 2009 as well as a plan to support standardization of the iMB technology in the JEDEC standards organization.

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