Monday, January 23, 2012

Startup Combines CPU and DRAM

Startup Combines CPU and DRAM:

MojoKid writes "CPU design firm Venray Technology announced a new product design this week that it claims can deliver enormous performance benefits by combining CPU and DRAM on to a single piece of silicon. Venray's TOMI (Thread Optimized Multiprocessor) attempts to redefine the problem by building a very different type of microprocessor. The TOMI Borealis is built using the same transistor structures as conventional DRAM; the chip trades clock speed and performance for ultra-low low leakage. Its design is, by necessity, extremely simple. Not counting the cache, TOMI is a 22,000 transistor design. Instead of surrounding a CPU core with L2 and L3 cache, Venray inserted a CPU core directly into a DRAM design. A TOMI Borealis core connects eight TOMI cores to a 1Gbit DRAM with a total of 16 ICs per 2GB DIMM. This works out to a total of 128 processor cores per DIMM. That said, when your CPU has fewer transistors than an architecture that debuted in 1986, there is a good chance that you left a few things out--like an FPU, branch prediction, pipelining, or any form of speculative execution. Venray may have created a chip with power consumption an order of magnitude lower than anything ARM builds and more memory bandwidth than Intel's highest-end Xeons, but it's an ultra-specialized, ultra-lightweight core that trades 25 years of flexibility and performance for scads of memory bandwidth."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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