Evaluating performance of memory technologies in networking applications
New memory technologies are continually being introduced to provide enhanced performance in applications such as graphics and network switching. This article provides an overview of the different mainstream and niche technologies in the market today, and identifies the parameters that determine the performance of these technologies in switching applications.
While the mainstream market, both PC and embedded applications is making the transition from SDRAM to Double Data Rate (DDR) SDRAM to ensure performance requirements are met, still greater bandwidth is needed for specific applications. In addition to RDRAM (Rambus™) memory technology, newer network RAM technologies such as Fast Cycle RAM (FCRAM™) and Reduced Latency DRAM (RLDRAM™) are working to fill the bandwidth gap by utilizing a redesigned DDR-based DRAM core. Other types of memory technologies such as high-speed SRAMs (static RAM) like QDR and SigmaRAM, and CAMs (Content Addressable Memory) can also meet the bandwidth and latency requirements, but can be more costly and have limited densities. The FCRAM and RLDRAM memory architectures have been optimized for faster access times while supporting the larger densities needs of network applications.
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