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May 2016 - Technology Assessment - Doc # US41212215

The Changing Face of Memory Technologies: New Technologies Drive New Opportunities — And Create New Problems

Authors: Jeff Janukowicz, Soo-Kyoum Kim, Robert Sorensen
Abstract

This IDC study reviews the different memory and storage options that are being explored by the major system OEMs. Myriad market and technology forces are aligning to bring about some drastic changes in almost every sector of the memory field, and these changes will have a deep and abiding impact on the way that high-performance computing (HPC) systems are designed, built, and used in the coming years. Developments of particular note include the emergence of low-power DRAMs as the dominant DRAM device, looming performance issues in NAND flash development, and the explosion of new architectures to address growing concerns with the continued scaling of electron-charged memory devices. In addition, new technologies such as embedded cache, burst buffers, and SSDs are expanding options for more sophisticated memory/storage hierarchies.

"The bulk of new or evolving memory/storage developments promise new opportunities for faster, more effective data storage and movement, but almost all carry with them some — and in more than a few cases, significant — design and use complexities," says Bob Sorensen, research VP, Technical Computing.

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