The scary sounding Hybrid Memory Cube Consortium has just unveiled the fist official standard specifications for a new type of high-speed computer memory. This new Hybrid Memory Cube (HMC) 1.0 spec, created as a joint venture between various chip manufacturers including IBM, Samsung, and Micron, details a radical new way of creating PC memory that promises to increase speeds as much as 15 times while using 70% less power.
The Hybrid Memory Cube achieves this huge performance boost by stacking the actual chips of a RAM module rather than laying them out side-by-side, as convention DDR does. This results is a much shorter connection between the actual chips that compose the memory module. A shorter trip between chips means that all those little 1s and 0s get where they’re going faster and require less energy to make the trip. Furthermore, by stacking the silicon dies inside a single casing, the physical space of computer memory could be shrunk by as much as 90%.
Consortium members are planning the first release of HMC RAM later in 2013 and are already busy crafting the 2.0 spec for this technology. As with any new technology, you can rest assured that these early chips absurdly expensive and relegated to supercomputers and high-end servers. Pending any major upset from early adopters, consumer grade HMC modules should being to trickle down to system builders a couple years later.
Get more information and check out the full spec sheet at the Hybrid Memory Cube Consortium’s home page.