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Intel combines processor, memory

Can memory and processing power be intertwined? Intel certainly thinks so. The chipmaker showed off an 80-core processor that featured a connection between the chip and a memory chip at its developer forum earlier this week.

That melding could well signal an attempt by Intel to get back into the DRAM market, which it left some time ago. More importantly, such a chip-memory connection could cut out the middle man, the memory controller, which is part of the slowdown problem that memory makers are trying to solve. Intel’s technology, called Through Silicon Vias (TSV), would do an end-around on that problem by drawing a straight line between chip and memory.

TSV also opens up a host of ports for distributing processing power, not just the one that the memory controller requires. Each of the 80 cores in the Intel processor has its own tiny router, meaning that a total of one trillion bytes could be bounced around each second.

All of this is early-in-the-process stuff, though. TSV is still in the development stage. Any final product is a few years away. Leave it to Intel, though, to pursue creative innovations.



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