Micron and AgigA to Develop Non-Volatile DIMM Technology

Non-Volatile DIMMs May Be Game-Changers for Datacenters

by Anton Shilov
11/14/2012 | 01:24 PM

Micron Technology, a leading maker of DRAM and NAND flash memory, and AgigA Tech., a subsidiary of Cypress Semiconductor and a leading provider of high-speed, high-density, battery-free nonvolatile memory solutions, announced today that the two companies have signed an agreement to collaborate to develop and offer non-volatile DIMM (NVDIMM) products, which will combine DRAM and NAND flash on industry-standard memory modules.

 

"From our start in 2007, we have always believed that NVDIMM technology could be a game-changer for enterprise-class server and storage solutions. Establishing a strategic partnership with Micron allows us to drive that vision toward mass market enablement," said Ron Sartore, president and chief executive officer of AgigA Tech.

By combining industry-standard DRAM and NAND flash memory, NVDIMMs will provide the low latency and nearly infinite endurance of DRAM, along with the nonvolatility of flash. During normal operation, the NVDIMM appears to the host system as a standard JEDEC DRAM memory module. In the event of an unexpected power loss, the critical data residing in the DRAM is saved to onboard NAND flash using a battery-free power source based on ultracapacitors. When power is returned, the in-memory state of the DRAM at the time power was lost is restored from the flash. The recovery time from a catastrophic power-loss event is almost immediate since the restore operation takes a matter of seconds and recharging the ultracapacitors takes only minutes.

NVDIMMs are designed to integrate easily into the DIMM slots of industry-standard server and storage platforms, providing persistent memory for use cases such as write caching and metadata storage.

NVDIMM technology provides performance, cost and data security advantages for a wide range of applications, including server RAIDs, storage tiering, data logging, de-duplication, system checkpointing and metadata processing. AgigA already offers AgigaRam NVDIMM solutions, but with the help of Micron, it will be able to target new markets and make non-volatile DIMMs mainstream, not exotic technology.

The partnership will leverage the strengths of the respective companies, with Micron's expertise in memory IC, module development, and manufacturing, and AgigA Tech's substantial IP and patent position in the area of hybrid nonvolatile RAM technology. As part of the agreement, Micron will offer to their customers an NVDIMM module that will pair with AgigA Tech's power modules, based on ultracapacitors (PowerGEM), to create a complete NVDIMM solution.