February 29, 2008
Technology quadruples memory capacity of x86 servers and workstations; Reduces price by up to 90 percent
SAN JOSE, Calif., Feb. 25 -- MetaRAM, a fabless semiconductor company focused on improving memory performance, today announced the launch of DDR2 MetaSDRAM, a new memory technology that significantly increases server and workstation performance while dramatically decreasing the cost of high-performance systems. Using MetaRAM's DDR2 MetaSDRAM, a quarter-terabyte, four-processor server with 16 cores starts at under $50,000*, up to a 90 percent reduction in system cost** -- all without any system modifications. MetaSDRAM, designed for AMD Opteron and Intel Xeon-based systems, is currently available in R-DIMMs from Hynix Semiconductor, Inc. and SMART Modular Technologies. Servers and workstations from Appro, Colfax International, Rackable Systems and Verari Systems are expected in the first quarter of 2008.
"I've spent my career focused on building balanced computer systems and providing compatible and evolutionary innovations. With the emergence of multi-core and multi-threaded 64 bit CPUs, I realized that the memory system is once again the biggest bottleneck in systems and so set out to address this problem," said Fred Weber, CEO of MetaRAM. "MetaRAM's new MetaSDRAM does just that by bringing breakthrough main memory capacity to mainstream servers at unprecedented price points, without requiring any changes to existing CPUs, chipsets, motherboards, BIOS or software."
MetaSDRAM is a drop-in solution that closes the gap between processor computing power, which doubles every 18 months -- and DRAM capacity, which doubles only every 36 months. Until now, the industry addressed this gap by adding higher capacity, but not readily available, and exponentially more expensive DRAM to each dual in-line memory module (DIMM) on the motherboard.
The MetaSDRAM chipset, which sits between the memory controller and the DRAM, solves the memory capacity problem cost effectively by enabling up to four times more mainstream DRAMs to be integrated into existing DIMMs without the need for any hardware or software changes. The chipset makes multiple DRAMs look like a larger capacity DRAM to the memory controller. The result is "stealth" high-capacity memory that circumvents the normal limitations set by the memory controller. This new technology has accelerated memory technology development by 2-4 years.
MetaRAM Company Details
MetaRAM received its first round of funding in January 2006, demonstrated its first working samples in July 2007 and released its first chipset into production in November 2007. The company was co-founded by industry luminary and former AMD CTO Fred Weber and is funded by venture firms including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Khosla Ventures, Storm Ventures and Intel Capital.
"Kleiner Perkins invested in MetaRAM because we believed in the founders and their technical vision. MetaRAM has assembled a first class team and executed flawlessly in bringing the DDR2 MetaSDRAM chipset to market in a short period of time. MetaRAM has the leadership, vision, and talent to challenge existing technological limitations and open new capabilities for computing," said Bill Joy, partner of Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, and a member of MetaRAM's board of directors.
"The rapid adoption of Quad-Core Intel Xeon processors and platform virtualization, combined with the growth of data intensive applications, is driving demand for increased server memory capacity," said Bryan Wolf, managing director, Enterprise Platforms, Intel Capital. "MetaRAM's technology presented an opportunity for Intel to participate as both an investor and a strategic technology collaborator to deliver a compatible solution that enhances system performance."
MetaSDRAM Technical Details
MetaSDRAM, underpinned by more than 50 pending patents, solves the memory capacity problem affordably by enabling multiple mainstream DRAMs to look like a larger capacity DRAM to the CPU. The MetaSDRAM chipset combines four separate 1Gb DDR2 SDRAMs into a single virtual 4Gb DDR2 SDRAM which acts exactly as a monolithic 4Gb DDR2 MetaSDRAM would.
The DDR2 MetaSDRAM chipset is optimized for low power and high performance. MetaRAM's MetaSDRAM features include:
MetaSDRAM Chipset Availability
MetaSDRAM MR08G2 chipset enables 2-rank 8GB DIMMs and is capable of functioning at speeds up to 667MT/s. It consists of an AM150 Access Manager and 5 FC540 Flow Controllers working as a group. The chipset is currently in full production and is available at $200 each in 1,000 kit quantities.
MetaSDRAM MR16G2 chipset enables 2-rank 16GB DIMMs and is capable of functioning at speeds up to 667MT/s. It consists of two AM160 Access Managers and 9 FC540 Flow Controllers. The chipset is qualified for production and is priced at $450 each in 1,000 kit quantities.
AMD: Platforms based on Dual-Core and Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors
Intel: Platforms based on Dual-Core and Quad-Core Intel Xeon processors with the 5100 MCH
Modules are currently available from:
Server and Workstation Availability
Servers and workstations are expected in Q1 from:
MetaRAM products are designed for high performance rack-mount servers and workstations that run compute-intensive applications such as CAD/EDA simulations, database transaction processing (OLTP), business intelligence, digital content creation, and virtualization. These and other heavy workload applications are the backbone of industries like aerospace, automotive, financial services, animation, oil and gas exploration, and semiconductor design and simulation.
MetaRAM is a fabless semiconductor company focused on improving memory performance. The company's first product -- MetaSDRAM -- enables four times the amount of standard memory to be placed into existing systems without any modifications. The company is privately held, and venture funded by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, Khosla Ventures, Storm Ventures, and Intel Capital. MetaRAM is headquartered in San Jose, Calif. and employs 35 people. For more information, go to www.metaram.com.
*The Colfax CX1460-N2 is a 1U rackmount server with 256GB of DDR2 memory and four AMD Opteron 8000 series processors. Starting under $50,000.
**As compared to similar systems found on tpc.org.
Source: MetaRAM, Inc.
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