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Sep 17, 2012

Rambus Shows World’s Best RAM Technology




During this year’s IDF event in San Francisco, California, many companies have displayed their new and most advanced technologies. One unsurprising, but rather forgotten participant is the well-known technology developer Rambus.

The company has managed to make a very bad name for itself after suing most other DRAM companies in the world for infringing its patents. The patent discussion is debatable, but the company eventually managed to win some of the lawsuits and some other DRAM companies were actually found guilty of cartel-like activities and the most important victims were Rambus and the end-users. The company was not innocent itself and due to the prolonged years of legal battling, word spread among the industry insiders that Rambus was mainly a patent troll and less a technology company. Time has passed and the company has actually managed to develop some were interesting, very fast, but rather exclusive memory technologies such as the famous XDR memory inside SONY’s PlayStation 3.

Now Rambus is back with something that might be called XDR3, but it yet lacks any official naming and it is also much less exclusive than XDR was. The company’s new technology uses simple and cheap DDR3 chips, but the performance achieved is comparable with the 6000 MHz that GDDR5 memory offers, SemiAccurate reports. Rambus’ XDR, XDR2 and the standard GDDR5 memory are differential and partially differential technologies and this make the implementation rather complex and expensive. GDDR5 BGA chips can’t really be implemented in a classic TSOP design as the chips are consuming serious amounts of power when compared with DDR3 and have to be directly fused to the PCB. Surprisingly, Rambus’ new technology is currently using simple DDR3 DIMMs to demonstrate its performance.

Moreover, the performance is GDDR5-like while the power consumption is comparable with low power DDR3 SO-DIMM modules. DDR3 SO-DIMM modules were also part of Rambus’ new presentation proving that the technology is considerably less exclusive and low powered than XDR or RDRAM. From what was shows at IDF, the new Rambus technology can offer single channel bandwidths of up to 192 GB/s while a quad channel implementation would bring us almost 0.8 TB/s. This is many times more than what DDR4 is promising and the power consumption of the new “XDR” is actually lower by comparison.

Rambus Company logo
Image credits to Rambus

Rambus IDF 2012 Technology Demonstation at IDF 2012
Image credits to SemiAccurate

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