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Toshiba Develops World's Highest-Bandwidth, Highest Density Non-volatile RAM

Discussion in 'News' started by malware, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. malware New Member

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    Toshiba Corporation today announced the prototype of a new FeRAM —Ferroelectric Random Access Memory—that redefines industry benchmarks for density and operating speed. The new chip realizes storage of 128-megabits and read and write speeds of 1.6-gigabytes a second, the most advanced combination of performance and density yet achieved. Full details of the new FeRAM will be presented this week at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference 2009 (ISSCC2009) in San Francisco, USA.

    [​IMG]

    The new FeRAM modifies Toshiba's original chainFeRAM architecture, which significantly contributes to chip scaling, with a new architecture that prevents cell signal degradation, the usual tradeoff from chip scaling. The combination realizes an upscaled FeRAM with a density of 128-megabit. Furthermore, a new circuit that predicts and controls the fluctuations of power supply supports high-speed data transfers. This allowed integration of DDR2 interface to maximize data transfers at a high throughput at low power consumption, realizing read and write speeds of 1.6 gigabytes a second. In developing the new FeRAM, Toshiba broke its own record of 32-megabit density and 200-megabit data transfers, pushing performance to eight times faster than the transfer rate and density of the previous records and the fastest speed of any non-volatile RAM.

    FeRAM combines the fast operating characteristics of DRAM with flash memory's ability to retain data while powered off, attributes that continue to attract the attention of the semiconductor industry. Toshiba will continue R&D in FeRAM, aiming for further capacity increases and eventual use in a wide range of applications, including the main memory of mobile phones, mobile consumer products, and cache memory applications in products such as mobile PCs and SSDs.

    Outline of New Technology

    1. Improvement of ChainFeRAM architecture
    ChainFeRAM in the earlier generation of 64-megabit FeRAM employed a data-line design in which neighboring data-lines operated in sequence: one is off when the other is on. This allowed off lines to provide a noise barrier between on lines, contributing to chip scaling and fine performance. Previous chain architecture collected four data-lines but Toshiba has successfully increased the number of data-lines to eight, which led to a decrease in the total chip area.

    [​IMG]

    2. New architecture inhibits signal degradation
    Chip scaling causes signal degradation as the stored polarization of memory cell gets smaller. By shortening the data-line pitch and using chain architecture to decrease the number of memory cells connecting to sense amplifiers , Toshiba maintained the same cell signal level without any chip area penalty. Furthermore, improvement of the sensing technique reduced the parasitic capacitance and realized a reading signal of 200mV, sufficient for practical application.

    3. DDR2 Interface
    A circuit that can predict power fluctuation during read/write and control the power supply is newly added. This new circuit rapidly realizes the voltage required for read and write, allowing the new FeRAM to add a DDR2 interface and opening the way to practical use.

    Source: Toshiba
     
  2. Mega-Japan

    Mega-Japan

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    As nice as those numbers look, I'm pretty confused on what exactly is this >.>
     
  3. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    non volatile ram means that it doesnt lose data when it loses power. Effectively, this would make your system ram like an SSD hard drive - after a power outage, you could turn it back on exactly as it was.
     
  4. DaJMasta

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    Exactly, gives an entirely new meaning to instant-on. You could go into what is essentially a hibernate state with no power draw whatsoever, then your boot up time would be the time it takes for your hard drive to spin up, if that, and you could resume programs in the middle of working and such.

    A huge leap forward if it's cost effective and when we see some software that will tolerate being put on hold like this.
     
  5. RevengE

    RevengE

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    Wow Very Intresting, wonder what price range these will be in?
     
  6. Haytch

    Haytch New Member

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    128 megabit from 64. I love this doubling stuff. I think we are living in a fantastic era of advancement.

    This is a product i can surely do with, and its only a matter of time before the price becomes reasonable enough for the average user.

    Theres software currently available that allows some applications/page file etc etc to run from a flashdisk but this is miles ahead.
     
  7. Error 404

    Error 404

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    I can't wait to see RAM drives back in action; then people will be USING that 24 GB of RAM you can put in an i7, for example.
     
  8. Katanai

    Katanai

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    It's a chip that has the working characteristics of a flash chip yet at RAM speeds, pretty much. It could be used to produce super fast SSD's for example or as a kind of second level RAM on the motherboard, for example storing the pagefile or even the entire OS.
     
  9. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    interesting idea. this could indeed be used for future SSD's. a few Gigabytes a second would make average joe happy.
     
  10. PCpraiser100 New Member

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    I already have DDR3 memory so what's the point? Either way, it will be awesome if they got these into SSDs. :D
     
  11. Mega-Japan

    Mega-Japan

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    Correct me if I'm wrong but I though one was already able to achieve this with Windows 7 through software. The whole "there when it's turned on" thing.
     
  12. Suijin New Member

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    OK, I will correct you. Software only can't accomplish the true "instant on". A computer of today needs to go through a boot up sequence, which at least partially means needing to fill memory up with windows, drivers, data, etc. Or you can go into a hibernate state, which is a low power state for the computer which keeps data in RAM so it can effectively "instant on". A hibernate state does require power to RAM however. Standard dynamic RAM today is a capacitor which stores a charge of electricity. There is no perfect insulator in use today so this charge bleeds away slowly, so RAM needs to be refreshed (means read and rewritten at full charge) before the charge decays too far to be read accurately. This is done in hardware behind the scenes, but it still requires a power draw.

    Non-volatile RAM holds the data it stores without a power draw, like flash memory or static RAM (static RAM is not fast enough for the main memory, I believe it is used for the bios on the motherboard though), but it also performs (is fast access and data speed) like standard Dynamic RAM. I am not up on what speeds current Dynamic RAM operates at, but I don't think this is as fast. It is in development though, so they are working on it.
     
  13. Suijin New Member

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    The point is you can keep the information in memory with no power. I don't know of any DDR3 memory that does that.
     
  14. 3870x2

    3870x2

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    is anyone getting the real point? getting rid of hard drives altogether within the next 10 years, and instead ram and hard drive space will work hand in hand.
    having 10TB of ram and hard drive space together would be nice.
    this looks like a real step forward.
     
    crazy pyro says thanks.
  15. crazy pyro

    crazy pyro New Member

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    That would be INCREDIBLE!
    Seriously, silence freaks would jump on that.
     
  16. Marineborn

    Marineborn New Member

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    i shall purchase that upon release!! *struts off*
     
  17. spearman914

    spearman914 New Member

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    Whoa, amazing!!! But too bad it's only 128megabits.
     
  18. Marineborn

    Marineborn New Member

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    yeah but ya gotta think first gen isnt gonna be that good 3-4th gen of that technology is gonna be like 10 gig sticks and stuff
     
  19. Fhgwghads

    Fhgwghads New Member

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    True, but the second it goes mainstream everything already out gets a price drop, good stuff, can't wait.
     
  20. Steevo

    Steevo

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    Shave my balls and call me larry. I like it.
     
    10 Million points folded for TPU
  21. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    thats per chip. 128Mb = 8MB. on a stick of DDR2 ram here, i have 16 chips. 16*8 = 128MB.

    sure its small for PC standards, but you could imagine it being very useful in mobile phones and GPS units, for example. Instant on, no boot times.
     
  22. TheMailMan78

    TheMailMan78 Big Member

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    Plus this is NEW and thus a stepping stone for bigger things. I mean having 8 megs of RAM 20 years ago was a big deal. Now you need more than that just for an OS. 10 years from now HD's maybe a thing of the past. Plus think about your loading times in games! You could get ass raped instantly online instead of waiting!
     

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