Sunday, May 31, 2009

Inphi Enables Cloud Servers Pack 384 GB of DDR-3 Memory

Inphi Corp.introduced a new technology that can quadruple memory capacity in servers and workstations at DDR3-2133 rates and beyond. 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.

"Contemporary multicore processors have a voracious appetite for memory capacity, but board layout and signal integrity issues limit the number of DIMMs on most two-socket server motherboards," observed Nathan Brookwood, research fellow at Insight 64. "Buffer-on-Board (BoB) approaches address signal integrity, but finding space and routing signals to all those DIMMs remains a tough problem. Inphi's iMB provides a clever and cost-effective solution that allows the latest Xeon servers to accommodate four times as many DRAM components in the same DIMM sockets designed for ordinary registered DIMMs. Users who feel hemmed in by the current 96 GB per socket constraint of Intel's Xeon 5500 series should love this way to grow their memories to 384 GB."

Inphi said its iMB technology enable up to 384 GB of mainstream DRAMs to be 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.

Inphi is currently manufacturing prototypes of the iMB and expects to deliver engineering samples to OEMs beginning in the summer of 2009.