MetaRAM Promises 8GB DDR2 Modules This Quarter


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MetaRAM promises 8GB DDR2 modules this quarter
by Cyril Kowaliski — 6:00 AM on February 26, 2008

A company founded by former AMD Chief Technology Officer Fred Weber that has been operating in stealth mode for the past couple of years has finally unveiled its first product. As Ars Technica reports, MetaRAM has developed technology that can quadruple the density of DDR2 memory modules. MetaRAM-enhanced DIMMs will come with densities of up to 8GB, and they'll theoretically be able to slip into any server that supports regular DDR2 memory. Ars describes MetaRAM's technology as follows:
MetaRAM uses a 3D chip stacking technology to cram extra SDRAM chips onto the DIMM, with the result that each DIMM is actually two or four DIMMs worth of memory. Also on the DIMM is a pair of custom chips that are the secret sauce that makes MetaRAM work. This MetaRAM chipset sits in between the system's main memory controller and the on-DIMM DRAMs, routing reads and writes to the appropriate DRAM and hiding its own presence.​
MetaRAM modules look like so:

This isn't some far-away promise of a technology for the distant future: the first MetaRAM-based modules and systems are due to ship within the next month or so. MetaRAM itself doesn't have any fabrication plants, so it has enlisted Hynix and SMART Modular to produce the actual DIMMs. Both manufacturers are currently sampling 8GB DDR2 modules, Ars says, and we can expect workstations and servers based on them from Rackable and others to be available at launch. One of MetaRAM's partners is apparently cooking up a server with 256GB of memory and a price tag under the $50,000 mark.