updated 08:20 am EST, Mon February 2, 2009
Rambus today will demo a new RAM technology that it believes could be needed for more advanced visuals on smartphones. Labeled the Mobile Memory Initiative, the approach uses a variant of the separate, flexible clock speeds used in XDR memory (found in the PlayStation 3) but with very low-power, low variance signaling that creates very high bandwidth without ramping up the power draw. MMI would allow 4.3 gigabits per second from a single chip but a typical voltage of just 100mV, providing about five times the headroom of the 800-megabit mobile memory available today
A complete dynamic RAM device could generate 17 gigabytes per second, Rambus says, but could also potentially be less expensive as companies could scale back the RAM interface while still achieving performance at least as good as existing mobile memory.
The company believes MMI should be relevant for future smartphones and other handhelds that will need high-performance 2D or 3D performance and thus needs quick access to graphics or system RAM; live HD video capture, high megapixel-count still images and mobile 3D gaming would all potentially benefit the most from the advancement.
Rambus hasn't said which firms are interested in MMI but expects the first products based on the technology to launch approximately in early 2010.