Monday, December 19th 2011

DDR4 May Use 3D Stacking Technology

Micron Technology, one of the biggest DRAM companies, has announced that it's working the JEDEC standards organization for computer memory, to standardize a new DRAM interface and die-stacking technology called three-dimensional stacking, or 3DS, which may be incorporated into the upcoming DDR4 standard. X-bit labs has a nice summary of how 3DS works:
The idea behind 3DS is to use specially designed and manufactured master-and-slave DRAM die, with only the master die interfacing with the external memory controller. 3DS technology uses optimized DRAM die, single DLL per stack, reduced active logic, single shared external I/O, improved timing, and reduced load to the external world. This combination of features can improve timing, bus speeds, and signal integrity while lowering both power consumption and system overhead for next-generation modules, according to Micron.

The video below demonstrates a timing limitation when reading from one memory rank and then another, which causes a one-cycle gap on the data bus. It may not sound much, but repeated billions of times, it all adds up:

The 3DS technology resolves this problem by allowing the 3DS device to accept Read commands to different ranks, which keeps the data bus full by eliminating these single-cycle gaps, as Aftab Farooqi of Micron Technology explains:
In the second case, we are observing how data is continuous when the system issues consecutive Read commands on the same rank. A 3DS-optimized system will similarly take advantage of this tighter timing and be able to see improved data bus utilization and bandwidth when reading from different banks.
Note that this technology is different to the 3D Hybrid Memory Cube technology announced jointly by IBM and Micron and it looks like HMC will actually compete with 3DS.

3D chip technology seems to be all the rage at the moment, what with Intel's Tri-Gate tech in the upcoming Ivy Bridge CPU's and now this, it sounds like a very interesting development and TechPowerUp will be sure to report updates as they come in.
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10 Comments on DDR4 May Use 3D Stacking Technology

Super XP
This is interesting indead. Love how companies push innovation :)
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so what this means is DDR4 may blow current ram tech out of the water, instead of just being incremental increases.

i like it.
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"I go fast!1!11!1!"
I think they should start pushing for new standards and not just upgrading old ones. Memory is not keeping up with the increase in the number of cores processors are getting.
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Barely related: Nintendo is going to have a problem with the 3DS terminology.
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I wonder if this will in any way improve timings at very high clocks which seems to be a problem for every new generation of memory. Ultra high clocks but also dreadful timings.
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I will take some DDR4 please I would like a DDR4 16GB (2x8GB) 4266 MT/s 1.05 V :D :rockout:
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3DS... Yup, this article totally does not remind me of the Nintendo handheld.
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Delta6326 said:
I will take some DDR4 please I would like a DDR4 16GB (2x8GB) 4266 MT/s 1.05 V :D :rockout:
Better tack on a new motherboard (and maybe a new CPU) to that order. I doubt that DDR4 will be physically compatible with any board currently on the market, and the memory controller is probably built into the CPU.
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Overclocked quantum bit
Mega-Japan said:
3DS... Yup, this article totally does not remind me of the Nintendo handheld.
:laugh: Yeah, I knew '3DS' reminded me of something. :D
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