Rambus, a leading designer of memory and interface technologies, on Monday revealed its mobile XDR memory that is based on technologies introduced around a year ago under Mobile Memory Initiative. Rambus hopes that the new type of memory will be a part of next-generation mobile devices, but so far no companies have announced plans to support mobile XDR.
The obile XDR memory architecture will enable future mobile memory platforms which can achieve throughputs of up to 4.3Gb/s (537.5MB/s) per pin with unequaled power efficiency. As a result of improved speed, system-on-chip (SoC) platforms can achieve over 17GB/s of memory bandwidth from a single mobile XDR DRAM device while extending the battery life of many mobile products by more than 30 minutes, when operating under the most power-hungry usage profiles, according to Rambus.
The Mobile XDR architecture enables significant cost savings for SoC chips by offering pin-count reduction and a smaller interface. Power reduction is achieved through an aggressive decrease in active power coupled with fast transition times to power-saving modes.
While mobile XDR memory does seem to be advanced, at present there are no actual licensees. As a consequence the new memory type faces “chicken and egg” situation: hardly anybody will license memory technology when there are no mobile XDR chips on the market and no manufacturer will initiate mobile XDR DRAM production if there are no controllers that support it.
Mobile XDR memory architecture uses key innovations from Rambus’ Mobile Memory Initiative:
- Very Low-Swing Differential Signaling (VLSD): a bi-directional, ground-referenced, differential signaling technology which offers a high-performance, low-power and cost-effective solution for applications requiring extraordinary bandwidth and superior power efficiency.
- FlexClocking Architecture: utilizes asymmetric partitioning and places critical calibration and timing circuitry in the SoC interface, greatly simplifying the design of the DRAM interface.
- Advanced Power State Management (APSM): Reduces memory system power and provides ultra-fast transition times between various low-power and active operating modes.
- In addition, Rambus’ FlexPhase and Microthreading technologies help enable the superior power efficiency of the Mobile XDR architecture.
Key components of the mobile XDR memory architecture include mobile XDR DRAM, mobile XDR memory controller PHY (MIO), and the mobile XDR memory controller (MXC). The Mobile XDR memory architecture is currently available for licensing.
“Future mobile applications demand far higher performance and longer battery life than today’s mobile products can achieve. Mobile XDR memory provides the ideal solution for designers to offer leading-edge mobile content in a dramatically lower power and cost-effective manner. Uniquely, the mobile XDR architecture delivers these benefits in SoC and DRAM devices that can be built with current manufacturing infrastructure reducing both risk and time-to-market,” said Sharon Holt, senior vice president of licensing and marketing at Rambus.