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Network, telecoms markets drive SRAM demand

17 Apr 2014  | Gary Hilson

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Haig says GSI will have a 288Mb QDR-IV offering later this year. The company also offers reduced latency DRAM (RLDRAM), which is a low-latency, high-bandwidth DRAM designed for networking and Layer 3 caching and outperforms DRAM, yet still does not provide the performance of SRAM. Other vendors that produce RLDRAM include Micron.

SRAM will continue to have a strong, if smaller, market, says Gopalswamy, because there is no end in the doubling of network traffic. "Equipment providers are doubling their packet rate capacity every 18 to 24 months."

Jim Handy, principal at Objective Analysis, says at the moment there is nothing that can match the performance of SRAM for networking equipment, especially as it evolves to faster speeds. "SRAM can process the lookup tables that you need for networking faster than any other technology."

He says SRAM will continue to be a niche market, unlike DRAM and NAND Flash, and an expensive memory, much like the linecards used in networking gear where SRAM is used. "Everyone has to use the same SRAMs and the same processors."

Handy adds there has been some discussion that Hybrid Memory Cube, one of the likely long-term replacements for DRAM, might be able to offer some of the same functions as SRAM, but there would likely be some compromises in performance.

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