Wednesday, May 17, 2023
HomeNetworkingStartup NEO Semiconductor guarantees 8x improve in reminiscence density

Startup NEO Semiconductor guarantees 8x improve in reminiscence density

System reminiscence is a posh downside. Extra reminiscence means extra efficiency, particularly in a virtualized atmosphere. However extra reminiscence additionally requires extra energy, and that may add up as you begin to get into hundreds of reminiscence sticks.

Plus, you may solely put so many reminiscence sticks in a server, relying on the variety of slots accessible. So how do you improve reminiscence capability? By rising reminiscence density on the chips, which is less complicated mentioned than executed. Nonetheless, a startup known as NEO Semiconductor is claiming will probably be in a position to improve reminiscence density by as much as eight occasions over customary reminiscence with a breakthrough 3D design.

It’s not a brand new idea; 3D reminiscence stacking has been utilized in NAND flash to extend capability for a decade now. Reminiscence transistors can solely be so massive to slot in the confines of a DRAM chip. Relatively than a rise the variety of transistors laid out facet by facet, reminiscence makers started stacking it on high of one another, thus rising capability in the identical bodily area. Within the 10 years since 3D stacking started, NAND flash DRAM has reached the 170-layer mark, and SSDs have seen a big improve in capability with out rising the variety of chips.

However the answer has up to now not made the soar over to straightforward DRAM. That’s not for lack of attempting. Intel produced a prototype in 2020, however it hasn’t publicly introduced any progress since then.

NEO Semiconductor’s 3D X-DRAM is analogous in technical construction to 3D NAND reminiscence cells, and the corporate says it may be manufactured utilizing a 3D NAND-like fabrication course of. The corporate says that distinguishes it from different efforts at 3D DRAM that require solely new manufacturing processes.

“With out 3D X-DRAM, the business faces ready potential many years, navigating inevitable manufacturing disruptions, and mitigating unacceptable yield and value challenges,” the corporate mentioned in an announcement.

There are a lot of contenders vying to convey DRAM into the world of 3D reminiscence, so it’s nonetheless far too early to anticipate which route the business will take. And as soon as that’s determined, the switchover is prone to take a while, says reminiscence specialist Jim Helpful, principal analyst with Goal Evaluation.

Nonetheless, NEO’s method takes benefit of all of the hard-won studying that NAND fabs have gained, so a transition to this sort of DRAM course of ought to go a bit extra easily than did the 3D NAND transition, Helpful mentioned.

“I reserve my judgement on an organization till after I’ve seen proof of a prototype chip. Neo hasn’t but produced a prototype, so it’s arduous to say whether or not it’ll stay as much as its guarantees, however a 3D DRAM has been confirmed possible by Intel and imec, so there’s each purpose to consider that it may be manufactured,” Helpful mentioned.

Copyright © 2023 IDG Communications, Inc.



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