Author's Latest Posts

Which Memory Type Should You Use?

I continue to get besieged by statements in which memory “latency” and “bandwidth” get misused. As I mentioned in my last blog, latency is defined as how long the CPU needs to wait before the first data is available, while bandwidth is how fast additional data can be “streamed” after the first data point has arrived. Bandwidth becomes a bigger factor in performance when data is stor... » read more

The Memory And Storage Hierarchy

The memory and storage hierarchy is a useful way of thinking about computer systems, and the dizzying array of memory options available to the system designer. Many different parameters characterize the memory solution. Among them are latency (how long the CPU needs to wait before the first data is available) and bandwidth (how fast additional data can be “streamed” after the first data poi... » read more

Don’t Let The Headlines Trick You

This is the time of year when reports get issued summarizing the sales results of the server market in the first quarter. As a way of grabbing attention, many of the headlines will mention that the results of the first quarter are below those of the fourth quarter, bringing to mind all sorts of doomsday scenarios. Don’t be fooled. In many industries, sales exhibit a large seasonal compo... » read more

Traffic Jam?

This week, the first week in which school was out of session for the summer, I noticed that my commute to work was much shorter than it had been, reduced from about 25 minutes to 15 minutes. It’s always hard for me to believe that such a simple thing, as fewer drivers on the road due to summer vacations, is enough to cause such wild swings in commute times. I took advantage of the additional ... » read more

Digital TV: The Need For Speed

With CES just finishing up, I wanted to take a closer look at the changes in the digital TV market, and what affect those changes have on high performance memory and serial links. Just five years ago, the United States made the transition from analog to digital television. At the time, standard definition digital TV was common, with screens that contained 345 thousand pixels per frame. Recen... » read more

What You Don’t Know About Consumer Memory

I hear a lot of chatter about the memory markets and their fast growth. The question I like to pose to people is, "Which memory (DRAM) segment has grown faster over the last three years, servers or consumer?" The answer may surprise you. The correct answer, according to the latest IHS DRAM Market Tracker Database, is consumer. Since the beginning of 2012, the consumer DRAM market has grow... » read more

Data Center Power Consumption: What Effect Does Memory Have?

Data Centers now account for 3% of the worldwide power consumption, up from an estimated 1.5% just a few years ago. Data centers have been getting more efficient, but the efficiency has been hidden by the large growth in the number of data centers. The question that was recently posed to me: What effect does memory have on data center power consumption? I’ll cut straight to the chase. T... » read more

Server Memory: Should We Be Concerned About The Power?

After my last blog post, Server Memory: What Drives its Growth, I had a couple of people ask me, “If server memory has increased by so much in the last four years, what effect has that had on the server memory subsystem power consumption?” It’s a good question. In last month’s blog, I calculated that the maximum memory per CPU has increased from 18GB (2010, highest-end Nehalem 45nm C... » read more

Server Memory: What Drives Its Growth?

I was recently reading several analyst reports that came out after the end of last quarter, and one caught my eye: "Gartner says Worldwide Server Shipments Grew 1.4%..." It caused me to wonder, how is it possible that server shipments only grow at modest rates, while the DRAM used in those servers is growing at significantly higher rates? Putting my search engine to use, I found a series of ... » read more