Computer Architecture News, vol. 30 no. 6 December 2002, pp 16–19

The memory wall is approaching: the time when increases in processor speed will be masked by the high penalty of misses to DRAM. It would seem that the time when we must regard DRAM as a slow peripheral is some way off. But, given the possibility that the inherent latency problem of DRAM may not be solved, that possibility needs to be addressed. This paper presents some thoughts on how future DRAM may be organized, in the form of the proposed RAMnet architecture. RAMnet aims to provide alternative paths between processor and RAM, with a hierarchy of controllers with sufficient intelligence to optimize routing through the hierarchy. Key design goals include minimizing paths between components, and use of commodity components wherever possible.

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