As far as my amateur understanding of such things goes the closer and faster memory is, the faster computers can do things. Cpu’s have slowly incorporated more and more sub components decreasing latency and increasing performance. If you’re old enough to remember the revelation that was amd bringing the memory controller on die rather than on the north bridge you’ll know how much of an impact that can have.
We’ve seen faster speeds and greater bandwidth, but there is still a physical distance. I understand that if you were to put 16gb of ram on die the chip would be ridiculously expensive and enormous so that isn’t practical. And of course the on die cache is larger now than my first pcs total ram. But the form factor of sticks that are a good inch or more from the cpu has persisted since then.
My question is when we have technologies like silicon interposers and hbm2 with graphics cards, is there a practical or physical reason we haven’t seen similar developments in main system ram? Would it just be too expensive? I appreciate that it would limit upgrades, but are we going to see that in the not so distant future?
I would think with the large improvement in performance you can get from increasing cache that memory installed on an interposer or whatever Intel is calling their technology for putting amd graphics next to their cpu, could memory installed in this fashion be used as a last level cache, most programs can run inside 4GB of memory, would running that along side your traditional 16GB plus main memory make a significant difference?
Or are we going to have to wait for stacking technology that would allow memory to be layered on top of the cpu or something more exotic like that to see the next leap in latency and performance.
I suppose at the end of the day it’ll all come down to money and inertia in the market like everything else, but after seeing lots of innovation along those lines in the GPU space I’m surprised I’ve not heard of much in the works for main memory.
Is the absurdly parallel nature of graphics processing the only situation where you can make use of the extra bandwidth and latency? One would imagine that if businesses are willing to spend thousands on server cpus would it not give a significant boost to a cpu with dozens of instruction hungry cores? Would it not be worth the additional cost? Or is there something in the works that I’ve not heard about yet.