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Micron combines DIMM, SSD to boost 'up-time'

12 Nov 2015  | R. Colin Johnson

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Micron Technologies Inc. has integrated a digital-in-line memory (DIMM) board with a self-backup-powered (with a super-capacitor) solid-state drive (SSD) to develop a memory architecture that the company claims can increase up-time.

It is Micron's first foray into "persistent memory," a type of memory that cannot be destroyed come rain-snow-sleet or the resultant power outages. The theory goes that by building double-backups into each standard dual-inline-memory-module (DIMM) used by computers from PCs to supercomputers, brown-outs from the likes of summer AC-overload to power surges from acts-of-god such as lightning strikes, cannot bring down your system.

Persistent memory is especially useful for the trend of "in-memory" computing, where all the data and algorithms are loaded into a gigantic memory space (sometimes taking days or even weeks) before execution, so no SSDs or hard-disk drives (HDDs) slow down the fastest programmes in the world, from modeling the most efficient internal combustion engines to stewardship of our nuclear arsenal.

Cleanroom personnel produce the DRAM to be paired with SSDs

Cleanroom personnel produce the DRAM to be paired with SSDs (Source: Micron, used with permission)

"Micron is filling in the gap between DRAM and non-volatile memories like flash," said Ryan Baxter, a director of marketing for CNBU. "With so-called 'persistent memory' latency is cut to a minimum with speedy DRAM reads combined with the non-volatile security of flash that can be emergency backed-up in seconds instead of hours, days or even weeks."

Persistent memory is shipping now using 20nm double data rate (DDR3 and DDR4) as well as in early sampling for its next generation 16nm in 2016-2017.

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