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The Berkeley IRAM Project Project Overview Today microprocessors and memories are made on distinct manufacturing lines, yielding 10M transistor microprocessors and 256M transistor DRAMs. Plants to manufacture these chips cost billions of dollars. One of the biggest performance challenges in computer systems today is the speed mismatch between microprocessors and memory. To address this challenge processor designers now typically devote a large fraction of the transistors and area of the chips to large SRAM caches. We predict that over the next decade processors and memory will be merged onto a single chip. Not only will this narrow or altogether remove the processor-memory performance gap, it will have the following additional benefits: provide an ideal building-block for parallel processing, amortize the costs of fabrication lines, and better utilize the phenomenal number of transistors that can be placed on a single chip. Let's dub it an "IRAM", for Intelligent RAM, since most of transistors on this merged chip will be devoted to memory.
v 1.2 7/23/2000 19:30:48
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