DRAM Scaling Challenges Grow


DRAM makers are pushing into the next phase of scaling, but they are facing several challenges as the memory technology approaches its physical limit. DRAM is used for main memory in systems, and today’s most advanced devices are based on roughly 18nm to 15nm processes. The physical limit for DRAM is somewhere around 10nm. There are efforts in R&D to extend the technology, and ultimate... » read more

Why Standard Memory Choices Are So Confusing


System architects increasingly are developing custom memory architectures based upon specific use cases, adding to the complexity of the design process even though the basic memory building blocks have been around for more than half a century. The number of tradeoffs has skyrocketed along with the volume of data. Memory bandwidth is now a gating factor for applications, and traditional memor... » read more

GDDR6 Drilldown: Applications, Tradeoffs And Specs


Frank Ferro, senior director of product marketing for IP cores at Rambus, drills down on tradeoffs in choosing different DRAM versions, where GDDR6 fits into designs versus other types of DRAM, and how different memories are used in different vertical markets. » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers China has created a new $29 billion fund to help advance its semiconductor sector, according to reports from Bloomberg and others. Here's another report. The The U.S. and China are in the midst of a trade war. This has prompted China to accelerate its efforts to become more self-sufficient in semiconductor design and production. This includes DRAMs as well as logic/foundry. -----... » read more

Tricky Tradeoffs For LPDDR5


LPDDR5 is slated as the next-gen memory for AI technology, autonomous driving, 5G networks, advanced displays, and leading-edge camera applications, and it is expected to compete with GDDR6 for these applications. But like all next-gen applications, balancing power, performance, and area concerns against new technology options is not straightforward. These are interesting times in the memory... » read more

Thermal Challenges And Moore’s Law


Steven Woo, fellow and distinguished inventor at Rambus, looks at the evolution of graphics cards over a couple of decades and how designs changed to deal with more graphics and more heat, and why smaller, faster and cheaper doesn’t apply in this market. » read more

Pushing Memory Harder


In an optimized system, no component is waiting for another component while there is useful work to be done. Unfortunately, this is not the case with the processor/memory interface. Put simply, memory cannot keep up. Accessing memory is slow, and it can consume a significant fraction of the power budget. And the general consensus is this problem is not going away anytime soon, despite effort... » read more

Memory Subsystems In Edge Inferencing Chips


Geoff Tate, CEO of Flex Logix, talks about key issues in a memory subsystem in an inferencing chip, how factors like heat can affect performance, and where these kinds of chips will be used. » read more

Why DRAM Won’t Go Away


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to talk about DRAM's future with Frank Ferro, senior director of product management at Rambus; Marc Greenberg, group director for product marketing at Cadence; Graham Allan, senior product marketing manager for DDR PHYs at Synopsys; and Tien Shiah, senior manager for memory marketing at Samsung Electronics. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. Part ... » read more

Breaking Down The AI Memory Wall


Over the past few decades, the semiconductor industry has witnessed the rapid evolution of memory technology as new memories helped to usher in new usage models that characterized each decade. For example, synchronous memory helped drive the personal computer (PC) revolution in the 1990s, and this was quickly followed by specialized graphics memory (GPUs) for game consoles in the 2000s. When sm... » read more

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