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Print 11 comment(s) - last by ChuckDriver.. on Dec 21 at 1:03 PM

That's a considerable leap from the sizes of memory today

NEC Electronics, working jointly with Elpida Memory and Oki Electric, says it has developed novel packaging technology that places eight memory chips and one controller chip in a vertical stack, with 3D connections between the chips.

The key feature of the new technology is the way that chips in the stack are connected. Each chip has more than 1,000 pins on each side. The pins are connected to polysilicon electrodes built into the chips themselves, vertically piercing the chips from top to bottom. The chips are then connected to each other by high-density microbumps spaced only 50 micrometers apart. The entire package, including the controller chip, is very compact because each of the eight memory chips is only 50 micrometers thick.

For applications like digital video and 3D games, mobile devices also need faster access to memory and power consumption as low as possible. Chip suppliers have developed a number of ways to meet these requirements. Memory can be built into system-on-chip solutions, or included in system-in-package solutions.

The latter approach typically involves stacking a number of memory chips over interposers and connecting them to a processor chip by wire bonding. But each of these approaches has its disadvantages. It is difficult to build enough memory into a single SoC chip. The wire bonding in SiP solutions creates impedance balancing problems and limits the number of pins that can be connected to the processor, which makes it difficult to increase the signal speed. Wire bonding also limits the number of chips that can be added to the stack.

In search of a fundamental solution to these problems, NEC/Elpida/Oki engineers focused on packaging technology to allow stacking of eight memory chips and one controller chip with internal microbump connections at the dense pitch of 50 µm. This technology will enable smaller form factors, faster operating speeds and lower power consumption in the next generation of mobile devices.

Samsung is also developing its own stacked memory technology for flash applications. Reportedly, Samsung is working to increase flash memory sizes up into the terabit range, which would greatly expand the capacity of all portable media devices. Read this article from Technology Review on Samsung’s presentation on 3D memory at International Electron Device meeting in San Francisco last week.



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The key word is...
By Dactyl on 12/19/2006 4:40:15 PM , Rating: 1
tera BIT

So only 128GB. It's just a bunch of hype from the marketing types.




RE: The key word is...
By surt on 12/19/2006 4:45:37 PM , Rating: 3
128GB on a single chip seems pretty nice. x8 chips per stick and x4 sticks in a box will give you almost half the ram you'll need to run the next generation windows operating system.


RE: The key word is...
By five40 on 12/19/2006 4:46:36 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah seriously. All first gen hardware needs to be perfect and blow away all known idea of the device it's replacing. And it should fly me around to the places that I want to go. How can you not think 128GB memory is impressive? It's like saying...damn we shouldn't build computers because they are the size of a house and can't do addition faster than a 2nd grader. Now look at computers today. Moral of the story, all tech takes time to mature. For a first gen storage device, 128GB is mighty impressive.


RE: The key word is...
By zsdersw on 12/20/2006 7:33:54 AM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately, whiny types whine when new technology doesn't meet their naive standards for what should pass as "new technology".

The consumer is always right in the end.. as he/she determines, ultimately, what succeeds and what fails.. but that doesn't mean the consumer is smart.


RE: The key word is...
By Mudvillager on 12/19/2006 4:47:21 PM , Rating: 2
lol, "only"?


RE: The key word is...
By Micronite on 12/19/2006 5:34:49 PM , Rating: 5
I think the key word is TERA bit.
Considering your current PC probably has 512 MEGA bit DRAM chips on it, I'd say 2048 times what you currently have is an improvement. But maybe that's just me.


640
By Chainzsaw on 12/21/2006 1:30:31 AM , Rating: 3
Tbit of RAM ought to be enough for anybody.




RE: 640
By ChuckDriver on 12/21/2006 1:03:18 PM , Rating: 2
Nice comment, Bill


By therealnickdanger on 12/19/2006 3:50:15 PM , Rating: 4
... but OMG I want one.

Seriously though, it's nice to see designers thinking outside the box. Like the Doc always used to tell me:

"Marty, you're not thinking 4th dimensionally!"




Wasn't this how Cyberdyne Systems started?
By kuyaglen on 12/20/2006 12:49:58 AM , Rating: 1
Anybody else immideatly thought of the "radically designed" chips described in the Terminator movies? Cool. Bottom line, more memory in less space.




By Crassus on 12/20/2006 10:25:58 AM , Rating: 2
Naaa, they started already back in the nineties or even eighties. I'm sure we all know them, just by a different name.


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