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New Low-Power Memory Could Challenge DDR3

Samsung Electronics and Micron Technology have founded a consortium to push a type of low-power memory called Hybrid Memory Cube. The vendors hope HMC will be seen as a viable alternative to DDR3 memory in high-performance computers and networks within a few years.

The consortium is planning to unite device and chip makers to develop an open specification for HMC, which promises to offer better power consumption and performance than current DRAM technologies, including DDR3, the vendors said.

Scott Graham, general manager of Micron's DRAM solutions group, said initial HMC specifications should be ready next year and full-scale production could begin in 2015.

Intel demonstrated HMC last month in an experimental solar-powered computer. The chip maker said the technology was seven times more power-efficient than existing DDR3 memory.

Mike Howard, an analyst at IHS iSuppli, said one HMC unit could potentially replace 10 DDR3 memory modules in servers. "It makes the memory operate faster and smarter," he said.

Altera and Xilinx are in the consortium. Intel and other CPU makers are not yet members, but they have been invited to join, said Graham.

This version of this story was originally published in Computerworld's print edition. It was adapted from an article that appeared earlier on Computerworld.com.

Read more about storage in Computerworld's Storage Topic Center.

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