Intel Collaborates with National Laboratories to Develop Advanced DRAM Memory Technology

Intel is returning to the storage field after 38 years and is collaborating with three national laboratories to develop dynamic random access memory (DRAM) technology. This marks a return to the company's roots, as Intel was originally a DRAM memory company. In 1970, the company developed the world's first commercial 1K Bit pMOS DRAM, called the "Intel 1103."

However, with the rise of Japanese manufacturers in the 1980s, Intel announced its withdrawal from the DRAM field in 1984. Despite this, the company has not completely abandoned storage technology. In 2015, Intel announced that it would be collaborating with Micron to develop 3D XPoint technology, and has also focused on the field of NAND flash and the development of the Optane hard drive. However, the related business was eventually sold.

Now, Intel is returning to its roots and partnering with three national laboratories to develop DRAM technology once again. It is unclear at this time what specific projects the collaboration will involve, but it is likely that the technology developed will be used in a variety of applications, including in computer memory and storage devices.

Intel's subsidiary, Intel Federal LLC, has been commissioned by the US Department of Energy's Sandia National Laboratories to develop a new memory technology. This technology is part of the Advanced Memory Technology (AMT) program in the United States and is primarily used in the field of supercomputing to boost simulation and computing applications.

Details about this new DRAM technology have not been publicly disclosed, but it has been reported that several technologies have been chosen for the project. These technologies are said to be significantly more efficient, with a reported 40 times improvement over the technologies currently used in Sandia Labs' upcoming NNSA supercomputer.

This collaboration is a significant development for both Intel and Sandia National Laboratories. It highlights the importance of advanced memory technology in the field of supercomputing and demonstrates Intel's commitment to developing innovative solutions in this area. It will be interesting to see how this new technology is integrated into supercomputing applications and what impact it will have on future computing performance.

The project being undertaken by Intel Federal LLC for the US Department of Energy's Sandia National Laboratories is funded by the Advanced Simulation and Computing Project of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) of the United States. This project is part of a portfolio of programs aimed at supporting technology research and development momentum and enhancing the competitiveness of the US industry in next-generation high-performance computing technologies.

The project is being carried out in collaboration with the three national laboratories of Sandia, Los Alamos, and Lawrence Livermore. It is part of the post-NNSA exascale computing program, which seeks to foster a stronger domestic high-performance computing ecosystem through close collaboration with industry through its PathForward program. The goal of this program is to develop advanced memory technologies that can be used in supercomputing applications to enhance computing performance.

According to James H. Laros III, the Sandia project lead, the work being undertaken by Intel Federal LLC will focus on improving the bandwidth and latency characteristics of future memory systems. These improvements will have a direct impact on the performance of various ASC task codes, which are used in supercomputing applications.

Anil Rao, the vice president and general manager of Intel's System Architecture and Engineering Group, added that the company is already anticipating the challenges that the next generation of platforms will face. He believes that the Advanced Memory Technology Program will support innovation in the field for the next decade.

According to Intel Fellow Josh Fryman, the company is "rethinking fundamental aspects of how DRAM is organized and how it integrates with computing platforms to achieve breakthrough performance." This effort is being undertaken as part of a collaboration with the US Department of Energy's Sandia National Laboratories, with the goal of fundamentally advancing computer system architecture by addressing the toughest problems posed by scientists at Adams National Laboratory.

Fryman explained that mainstream memory was not designed for today's computing platforms, and this multi-year effort will help the company achieve orders of magnitude in performance improvements through the basic DRAM design itself. These improvements will enable new levels of performance across all industry segments, and Intel hopes to see these innovations incorporated into industry standards to elevate the entire ecosystem.

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