I wrote up an idea for BIOS level disk caching system here
, which brought me back to this idea......
When I first read about PCIe coming out, I found a few people chatting on message forums that ?finally, expansion boards for memory will be practical?? Then when PCIe 2.0 specs came out, I read more of people saying adding memory via a card was on its way. Unfortunately, unless my google searching skills have faded, I still don?t find any word on a mainstream product coming that doesn?t break the bank.
I am proposing (or re-proposing as the idea isn?t so new), that a few key companies come together to form a standard for adding a secondary memory resource pool to any PCIe equipped computer. By secondary I mean, I don?t expect the OS to treat it the same as the motherboard memory, and it should either show up as an alternate pool or somehow be flagged as extended memory that isn?t preferred by the high performance pieces of the system.
For my example, lets picture a card with 12 dimm slots that supports up to 4GB dimms (or maybe 8GB dimms). I?m not sure the card needs to force the use of higher speed modules, or it could at least allow the memory to run at a lower speed to save power.
The memory pool would be available to
- SATA RAID controllers (both onboard and expansion card)
Virtual memory controllers of any operating system
Graphics cards that want to share a generic memory pool (multiple GPGPU cards with no video output)
Specific programs such as database, game, 3D rendering, etc ? possibly via an open sourced library.
HPC and clustering
<insert functionality here?>
With an external PCIe expansion system, which will be all the rage in a couple years thanks to Nvidia, Intel, and AMDs plans to offer expandable boxes for stacking lots of GPGPU chips, I think there would be plenty of possibility for stacking lots of cards.
Single module FB-DIMM pricing vs standard PC2-6400 +(total price to fully load card)
1GB.......$65 (12GB=$780)........$30 (12GB=$360)
2GB.......$116 (24GB=$1392)....$80 (24GB=$960)
4GB.......$500 (36GB=$6k)........$155 (36GB=$1860)
If the card added the desired performance for an enthusiast PC user, I could see spending $1000 to add 24GB to a system.
If this technology is brought to market, I certainly hope it isn?t restricted or proprietary in nature. I like what Violin http://www.violin-memory.com/
does with their products, but still no one has the vision of bringing out a consumer level, affordable, device.