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IDF: Intel Demonstrates 16 GB DDR3 MetaRAM

By - Source: Tom's Hardware | B 13 comments

This year at IDF, Intel demonstrated new high-capacity DDR3 memory featuring MetaRAM technologies

Intel will demonstrate at IDF this week Hynix’s newly announced 16GB DDR3 2-rank DIMM. This high capacity registered dual in-line memory module has been made possible by MetaRAM’s DDR3 MetaSDRAM technology, allowing for up to 4 times more mainstream DRAMs to be used while still remaining a drop-in solution. Intel will also be demonstrating a system at IDF featuring 144GB of DDR3 memory using the technology.

MetaRAM was launched back in January 2006 by AMD’s former CTO, Fred Weber. It wasn’t until earlier this year that what the company was up to would be known, with the introduction of an 8GB DDR2 RDIMM using their technology. The technology offers advantages such as increased capacity without reducing the frequency of the DDR3 memory channel, and because it uses mainstream DRAM, it remains a cost effective solution. It is a drop-in solution too, meaning standard DIMM power and thermal envelope are used. If one were using three such 16GB modules, one could create a system with 48GB of memory, avoiding the cost of a more customized solution to achieve the same feat. There is also a power savings due to the reduced number of modules needed for high-capacity systems.

MetaRAM’s technology works by stacking and craming up to four times more DRAM chips onto the module. To make such a beast work though requires a bit of fitness, which is provided by a special chipset on the module. The MetaRAM chipset works transparently, seen as a memory controller to the on-DIMM DRAM, yet seen by the system’s memory controller as DRAM. The chipset is then able to route the reads and writes appropriately between the DRAMs and memory controller, in an out-of-order execution, allowing the memory to still operate at standard frequency. To help remain in the required power envelope, a power-saving mode is introduced to keep unused modules asleep.

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  • 0 Hide
    JonathanDeane , August 21, 2008 12:22 AM
    Wow thats allot of RAM.... (I have to wonder about increased latency though) Well maybe we will see systems with 16GB's of RAM now!!! This will finaly push the issue of 64 bits VS 32 bits to its final outcome...
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    jaragon13 , August 21, 2008 12:25 AM
    ...And I just wanted 8 gigs...

    Only thing I see this being useful for in a while,is for servers...but they could just get DDR2,with like 32 slots instead of the supposed higher with the DDR3 and a more expensive server motherboard.
  • 0 Hide
    xyster , August 21, 2008 12:48 AM
    Imagine an X58 motherboard, having 6 slots for DDR3, and a new Quad core to boot. That would offer nearly 100GB of RAM! I'd be content with 6GB (3x2gb), but wow..
  • Display all 13 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    jaragon13 , August 21, 2008 1:05 AM
    xysterImagine an X58 motherboard, having 6 slots for DDR3, and a new Quad core to boot. That would offer nearly 100GB of RAM! I'd be content with 6GB (3x2gb), but wow..

    Now you have a faster SSD!...Except it's gonna cycle...whenever...the power goes off..I could see complete "precaching" of many important things in the memory,hell,I could get a whole game and windows to be entirely loaded up for fast access,instead of needing the faster hard-drives.
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    eklipz330 , August 21, 2008 1:11 AM
    can you just preload all your apps to this massive amounts of ram for INSANE booting times for apps and OS and games?!
  • 0 Hide
    jaragon13 , August 21, 2008 1:24 AM
    eklipz330can you just preload all your apps to this massive amounts of ram for INSANE booting times for apps and OS and games?!

    What? It would be nice,I think,as I wouldn't ever really turn it off.Like a driver function,to load up all of the program and related files,but I'm thinking the program would have to accept it,and not just shadow the files on it's own section of the RAM.
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    MafiaAce , August 21, 2008 3:08 AM
    Yeah, if someone made a software based RAM drive that would be amazing... loading whole games into the ram.. eliminating load times etc. Even if it took a while to "preload" all the data at first, it would be worth it.
  • 0 Hide
    V3NOM , August 21, 2008 6:20 AM
    agreed.
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    Zorg , August 21, 2008 6:41 AM
    That would make hardware RAM drives large/cheap enough to be a serious option. Then the data would be there all the time and boot would be a few seconds.
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    Deki_R , August 21, 2008 11:58 AM
    very nice...
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    jarnail24 , August 22, 2008 12:58 AM
    In my laptop get rid of my ram and my hd and load everthing on to this. imagine loading vista in about 2 seconds. Just gotta figure out the ccling problem when it is turned off.
  • 0 Hide
    jarnail24 , August 22, 2008 12:59 AM
    I meant cycling problem in my comment above.
  • 0 Hide
    V3NOM , August 22, 2008 6:14 AM
    jamali wat about a backing up program that quickly backs everything on the ram to the hard drive? you can do it with hibernate instead of turn off in windows :)