Micron shows off the first working RLDRAM 3 hardware

Top American memory maker Micron and FPGA maestro Xilinx have publicly demoed the first working RLDRAM 3 and memory controller setup, allowing logic-board manufacturers to begin implementing the memory standard.

The demo involved a Xilinx Virtex 7 FPGA interfacing with Micron’s RLDRAM 3 module array. The test system delivered 60 percent higher throughput on networking applications – over previous generation tech – and operates at speeds of up to 800 MHz (1.6 Mbps). It also offers a lower power envelope and more flexible memory configurations.

Micron developed RLDRAM together with the now-defunct memory division of Infineon, almost 13 years ago. Its main purpose was to create a memory with faster response times in random access, something standard DRAM has evolved very little over the course of the years.

RLDRAM 3 has the advantage of being six times faster than standard DDR3 SDRAM in terms of random access reads and is in itself all about low latencies, fast turn-around and cache speed to improve overall system responsiveness.

RLDRAM 3 is expertly positioned into the whole ‘caching’ business, which allows for all sorts of performance enhancements in just about any processing background. While this may seem a small demonstration for the duo, the fact remains that this is one of those ‘enabler’ technologies that will allow deep-pocket companies to invest heavily with a quick return on their investment. It is seen as a must-have technology for upcoming 40Gb and 100Gb networks. In this particular case, Micron and Xilinx have already signed-up Alcatel-Lucent who will use the tech as the foundation for their future 400Gb infrastructure.

RLDRAM 3 has numerous practical applications other than networking. According to Micron, just about any system can benefit from caching data, ie: CPU to high-performance graphics products that require speedy random access to largish texture data.

The joint Micron-Xilinx tech will benefit telecom carriers the most, who are pushing infrastructure bandwidth capacity hard before everything goes IP. Let’s face it, bandwidth is a measure of just how strong your business is.

Other partners include some high-fliers like Altera, Broadcom, Cavium, LSI Logic – which should provide an interesting complement for its newly bought SandForce controllers – and Tilera, the developers of the famous 64- and 100- core CPU.