At FMS 2018 Netlist briefed us on their upcoming memory technology. The Netlist HybriDIMM solution combines traditional DRAM, a memory controller, and non-volatile memory into a traditional DIMM form factor. We are going to discuss the solution a bit in this piece.
Netlist HybriDIMM Solution at FMS 2018
Setting the stage for the Netlist HybriDIMM. There are a variety of applications that need storage on a faster bus than the PCIe bus. These solutions are looking at DRAM slots as the answer for better performance. We have covered Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory as one solution. Many emerging persistent memory contenders are not necessarily targeting the same endurance as a traditional DRAM. Instead, these solutions are trading persistence and capacity to offer an alternative. The Netlist HybriDIMM is a solution that combines traditional DRAM and persistent memory onto a single DIMM.
The basic premise of the Netlist HybriDIMM is that it places data either in the traditional DRAM or in persistent memory. From a development perspective, we were told that the current iterations are in FPGA and moving to an ASIC controller soon.
For the non-volatile memory, the company’s DIMMs can be a number of different technologies from traditional NAND to phase change memory to NRAM.
Netlist says that its HybriDIMM technology requires minimal system changes to implement. For example, it does not need BIOS changes like many NV-DIMMs do.
Overall, this solution is still a few quarters from being a reality. The change to ASIC will take some time. That also is exciting for another reason. In a few quarters, some of the other non-volatile memories are going to become available. Netlist is positioning the HybriDIMM to take advantage of the best in class when these modules come to market.