How memory booster eases SoC bottlenecks

Article By : Majeed Ahmad

A memory booster doubles the capacity and bandwidth by employing ultra-tuned compression IP block on the data path between the processor and the main memory.

What is a memory booster? It’s not another memory but a patented technology that doubles the capacity and bandwidth by employing ultra-tuned compression/decompression accelerators on the data path between the processor and the main memory. The data is compressed when fetched from memory, so the memory access latency is often shorter. That can deliver up to 50% more performance per watt, a crucial advantage for system-on-chips (SoCs) in servers and data centers.

The memory booster IP can be integrated into an SoC device by using the existing on-chip bus protocols. The IP block is placed on the memory access path and is invisible to the operating system and applications.

Figure 1 The problem of memory full of data is shown with white data between the memory controller and main memory. As a result, the memory bus is saturated, so the processing capacity goes unused. Source: ZeroPoint Technologies

Figure 2 The solution: the compression IP block placed near the memory controller reduces the need for additional expensive physical memory. Source: ZeroPoint Technologies

ZeroPoint Technologies AB, a spinout from the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, claims to have licensed its Ziptilion memory booster IP to a global semiconductor firm. The Gothenburg, Sweden-based outfit also claims to be the only supplier of real-time memory compression IP for SoC designs.

ZeroPoint Technologies CEO Klas Moreau says that the booster IP helps mitigate the memory bottleneck challenge in SoCs by doubling the main memory capacity and memory bandwidth. “It facilitates unmatched energy efficiency by saving up to 20% on energy cost in servers operating in data center environments.”

ZeroPoint, founded by Professor Per Stenström and Angelos Arelakis Ph.D., is a privately-held limited company.

This article was originally published on EDN.

Majeed Ahmad, Editor-in-Chief of EDN and Planet Analog, has covered the electronics design industry for more than two decades.


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