IBM has found a way to replace on-chip SRAM memory with DRAM, resulting in faster access times and a smaller memory silicon footprint.
SRAM is fast and easy to make, and is often incorporated directly onto processor chips as the on-chip memory. But it’s big, which limits the amount of memory designers can put on a chip. The most common memory used in computers today is DRAM, but its too slow to be placed directly on the processor chip. Or at least it was; according to the AP:
IBM said it has been able to speed up the DRAM to the point where it’s nearly as fast as SRAM, and that the result is a type of memory known as embedded DRAM, or eDRAM, that helps boost the performance of chips with multiple core calculating engines and is particularly suited for enabling the movement of graphics in gaming and other multimedia applications. DRAM will also continue to be used off the chip.
IBM will present details at ISSCC today.