editor's blog
Subscribe Now

Micron’s Memory Cube

Micron Technology, America’s one-and-only memory manufacturer, has come up with a cool and unusual new type of memory chip. Well, it’s not really a chip. It’s more like a module. It’s a cube, actually.

The company calls it a “hybrid memory cube” (HMC) and it starts out as a set of stacked die within one package. That’s not terribly unusual in itself; plenty of companies have stacked two or more silicon dice on top of each other, and the technique is especially useful for memories. But the HMCs use TSVs (through-silicon vias) to connect the chips together, a fairly cutting edge technology.

Micron didn’t stop there. The company also moved the memory controller, which is typically part of the CPU or the system logic, onto the memory cube itself. (Which is not really cube-shaped, by the way.) By putting the memory controller on the memory module, the HMC acts as a sort of shared system resource, able to arbitrate and manage multiple memory requests from multiple masters (CPUs, DMAs, etc.)

Finally, Micron’s HMC has its own special serial interface, which is both fast and low-power. The high-speed serial interface also keeps the pin count low; lower than a big parallel interface would be, anyway. The trouble with any new interface, however, is that it needs to be supported by the chips on the other end. So far, Micron is the only company using this interface but one assumes that they’ve been lobbying other chip makers to adopt it as well.

HMC’s are intended for high-performance systems that need a lot of memory and a lot of bandwidth. Web servers and network storage come to mind. If these news HMCs catch on, they could be a designer’s best way to pack fast, dense memory into embedded systems.

 

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
Dec 1, 2020
If you'€™d asked me at the beginning of 2020 as to the chances of my replicating an 1820 Welsh dresser, I would have said '€œzero,'€ which just goes to show how little I know....
Dec 1, 2020
More package designers these days, with the increasing component counts and more complicated electrical constraints, are shifting to using a front-end schematic capture tool. As with IC and PCB... [[ Click on the title to access the full blog on the Cadence Community site. ]...
Dec 1, 2020
UCLA’s Maxx Tepper gives us a brief overview of the Ocean High-Throughput processor to be used in the upgrade of the real-time event selection system of the CMS experiment at the CERN LHC (Large Hadron Collider). The board incorporates Samtec FireFly'„¢ optical cable ...
Nov 25, 2020
[From the last episode: We looked at what it takes to generate data that can be used to train machine-learning .] We take a break from learning how IoT technology works for one of our occasional posts on how IoT technology is used. In this case, we look at trucking fleet mana...

featured video

Introduction to the fundamental technologies of power density

Sponsored by Texas Instruments

The need for power density is clear, but what are the critical components that enable higher power density? In this overview video, we will provide a deeper understanding of the fundamental principles of high-power-density designs, and demonstrate how partnering with TI, and our advanced technological capabilities can help improve your efforts to achieve those high-power-density figures.

featured paper

Reducing Radiated EMI

Sponsored by Maxim Integrated

This application note explains how to reduce the radiated EMI emission in the MAX38643 nanopower buck converter. It also explains the sources of EMI noise, and provides a few simple methods to reduce the radiated EMI and make the MAX38643 buck converter compliant to the CISPR32 standard Class B limit.

Click here to download the whitepaper

Featured Chalk Talk

Introducing Google Coral

Sponsored by Mouser Electronics and Google

AI inference at the edge is exploding right now. Numerous designs that can’t use cloud processing for AI tasks need high-performance, low-power AI acceleration right in their embedded designs. Wouldn’t it be cool if those designs could have their own little Google TPU? In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton chats with James McKurkin of Google about the Google Coral edge TPU.

More information about Coral System on Module