Techno Tuesday: Your Computer is About to get 15x Faster | Chip Stacking 101

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chip stacking

{Each Tuesday we will be doing a Brain Post related to the technology field, enlightening you about emerging technologies or funny history about how technology came to be}

That’s right, the good people at Micron have been hard at work developing a new way to organize memory: Chip Stacking.  If you don’t already know how you’re computer works, here is the crash course rundown:  Your hard drive (HDD) stores all of your files, from operating system files to pictures, these files are loaded into memory, or RAM (Random Access Memory), the processor then communicates with the RAM performing operations on the memory it stores.  Historically, all these things have been well spread out

Welcome to the world of 3-D Hardware

Scientists have been experimenting with stacking chips for a number of years, and have enjoyed some success.  Most current smart phones have a limited amount of chip stacking in their main memory, but it has yet to be successfully applied to a desktop computer or laptop computer.  With the recent completion of the Hybrid Memory Cube 1.0 standard, these chips can begin to enter production in the coming months.

Chip Stacking by the number:

  • 15x Faster than convention DDR3 RAM
  • 70% Less energy consumed
  • 320 GB/Second Bandwidth

When looking at it from a non-technologic standpoint it makes sense.  When things are far away, it takes longer to get to that thing.  When things are close, you can get to that thing faster.  By stacking layers of memory directly on your computers processor, you minimize the distance traveled, and achieve near real time memory speeds.

Why not Chip Stacking from the beginning?

Chip Stacking is just now entering the tech world due to two main factors – Heat and Complexity.  If you’ve ever typed away with a laptop in your lap, you know it gets hot.  Stacking even more chips on top of each other means it gets even warmer, and in the past it was infeasible to stack ships without burning them out in a short period of time.  But advances by 3M and Silicon giants such as Micron and IBM have allowed the chips to remain cool enough for safe operation.  Also, the general complexity is much greater in a 3-Dimensional memory cube than the traditional RAM.

Chip Stacking diagram
We’re pretty sure this is exactly what chip stacking looks like…but not really

If you would like to read about the finer details of Chip Stacking, check out this article from Extreme Tech.

So what do you think?  Like/love/hate/don’t care about Technology?  Let us know so we don’t waste your time!  (Please comment below)

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