Storage

Mini-Rank: Adaptive DRAM Architecture for Improving Memory Power Efficiency

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Executive Summary

The widespread use of multicore processors has dramatically increased the demand on high memory bandwidth and large memory capacity. As DRAM subsystem designs stretch to meet the demand, memory power consumption is now approaching that of processors. However, the conventional DRAM architecture prevents any meaningful power and performance trade-offs for memory-intensive workloads. The authors propose a novel idea called mini-rank for DDRx (DDR/DDR2/DDR3) DRAMs, which uses a small bridge chip on each DRAM DIMM to break a conventional DRAM rank into multiple smaller mini-ranks so as to reduce the number of devices involved in a single memory access.

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