Memory Technology Evolution: An Overview of System Memory Technologies


This paper gives you an overview of the memory technologies that we use in HP ProLiant servers, and describes how we evaluate these technologies. It also briefly summarizes the evolution of server memory and explores the different dynamic random access memory (DRAM) technologies.

Processors use system memory to store the operating system, applications, and data they use and manipulate. As a result, speed and bandwidth of the system memory controls application performance. Over the years, the need for greater memory bandwidth has driven system memory evolution from asynchronous DRAM technologies to high-bandwidth synchronous DRAM (SDRAM), and finally to today’s Double Data Rate (DDR) SDRAM technologies. Our challenge going forward is to continue to increase system performance by narrowing the performance gap between processors and memory.

The processor-memory performance gap occurs when the processor idles while it waits for data from system memory. In an effort to bridge this gap, HP and the industry are developing new memory technologies. We work with the Joint Electronic Device Engineering Council (JEDEC), memory vendors, and chipset developers. We evaluate developing memory technologies in terms of price, performance, reliability, and backward compatibility, and then implement the most promising technologies in ProLiant servers.

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