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Micron enlists IBM to speed up memory chips

Micron has enlisted IBM to help build smart memory chips that could drastically speed up the high-performance computers and networking systems that make up the Internet.

Engineers in recent years have run into a “memory wall” as the increasing efficiency of computer processors outpaces the speed that memory chips can deliver, limiting the overall performance  improvemement of high-end computers.

And one key bottleneck keeping memory chips from being more efficient has been the pathway they use to move data to computers’ processors and back again. 

Micron’s new Hybrid Memory Cube architecture connects controllers to stacks of up to eight memory chips, making the movement of data across that pathway more efficient and making the memory chips 15 times faster than current widely-used technology allows, according to Micron technology strategist Mike Black.

IBM, using its 32 nanometer logic technology, is making the controller chips, which are then intricately connected to a stack of Micron’s memory chips.

Speak, memory! The eternal search for notebooks with flash drives

Good news for us computer geeks! PCs are nearly ready to ditch hard drives for faster, less energy-intensive drives with flash memory, like in a camera or cell phone, according to memory maker Micron, which ought to know. That is exciting news for victims of crashed hard drives and people who always want something new.

“I think it’ll be a story in 2011, and it’ll be pretty good penetration in 2012. But, you know, maybe I’m wrong,” said Mark Durcan, president and chief operating officer of Micron, during the Reuters Global Technology Summit.

Sadly, he may well be right about the last part. The last Micron exec to speak about so-called solid state drives to an appreciatively nerdy Reuters summit was CEO Steve Appleton, who in November 2005 predicted that flash drives would replace hard drives within five years. Actually, he’s still got time, but folks better hurry!