Rambus Announces Mobile Memory Initiative

Today, Rambus demonstrated a new RAM technology that could be used to enable more advanced visuals on smartphones and other mobile devices. Called the Mobile Memory Initiative, the technology focuses on high-bandwidth, low-power memory technologies with the intentions of achieving data rates of 4.3Gbps while using best-in-class power efficiency.

This new technology could make it possible for companies to build super-powerful phones that utilize the Mobile Memory Initiative’s estimated 17GBps throughput. This technology could be used in next-generation smartphones, netbooks, portable gaming, and portable media products that require high-performance 2D or 3D performance along with quick access to graphics or system RAM, live HD video capture, high megapixel-count still images, and mobile 3D gaming.

This mobile device-oriented variant of the XDR RAM used in the PlayStation 3 uses just 100mV of power.  Rambus’ Mobile Memory Initiative also incorporates FlexPhase and Microthreading technology. In order to achieve the high-bandwidth, low-power memory interface solution, Rambus developed Very Low-Swing Differential Signaling (VLSD), FlexClocking Architecture, and Advanced Power State Management (APSM). VLSD combines the signaling qualities of a differential architecture with unique circuit techniques to reduce power consumption. The FlexClocking Architecture is a clock-forwarded and clock-distributed topology that enables high-speed operation and a simplified DRAM interface. APSM works with the FlexClocking architecture to provide fast switching times between power saving modes. APSM also helps provide optimized power efficiency across a range of usage profiles.

The Mobile Memory Initiative will provide about five times the headroom of the 800-megabit mobile memory that is used today. While the technology could be used to create more powerful devices, it could also be used to build cheaper devices by scaling back the RAM interface. These less expensive devices wouldn’t sacrifice any of the performance we’ve grown accustomed to with today’s mobile memory.

Rambus hasn’t stated who it is working with to deliver the Mobile Memory Initiative. The first products based on the technology are expected to launch sometime early next year.  For more information on the Mobile Memory Initiative, visit the company’s website at www.rambus.com/mobile.