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back to article Viking Modular plugs flash chips into memory sockets

What a brilliant idea: put flash chips into memory sockets. That's what Viking Modular is doing this with its SATADIMM product. This is a small solid state drive device, with a 25mm or 18.75mm height, 133.35mm length and maximum 7.75mm width; giving it a 75 per cent smaller footprint than a 2.5-inch SSD. It comes with a 6Gbit/s …

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Seems like a waste of good (and rare) DIMM slots

So, if I'm right, these devices just use the DIMM slots for power, relying on conventional SATA/ASA connectors for comms? If so, it doesn't seem very sensible as users would be forced to use higher capacity (more £ per Gb) RAM DIMMs to make space.

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Totally Agree

What a terrible idea, dim sockets in servers are precious enough at the best of times. Even if they do use the memory bus for transport they will be hideously slow in terms of both absolute throughput and latency compared with DRAM. FusionIO and OCZ et al are on the right track allowing it to be used as swap/extended mem pages

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Boffin

RE: Totally Agree

You could say the same about PCIe flash cards using up valuable PCIe slots, especially on the 2U servers. All in all I think it's an interesting idea, especially given the very large memory footprint available in some of the new Xeon 4-socket servers would allow some DIMM slots to be used without sacrificing too much memory scale, but I'm yet to be sold on it over the the PCIe flash cards. But in blades there seems to be both limits on space (think airflow round a slim DIMM compared to a bulkier flash module and additional cabling) and the requirement for as much memory as possible, so I can't see the blades vendors rushing to use these (unless I'm missing something).

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Huh? I think you need to look at the bigger picture.

Sorry, but you're looking at PC only. Think server mother boards like those you can buy from super micro.

Here you have more memory slots because they are built to take 100+GB in memory.

(192GB in some.) Considering that these 2 socket Xeon MBs usually get 32-36GB of memory, there's a lot of open slots.

I'd agree that for your typical home PC that the number of slots for your i7 or smaller chips would be at a premium.

I can't be the only guy who has a custom built 'silent' linux server in his home office... :-)

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One thing bothers me

If you have a virus loaded into memory, and your memory is Flash RAM, how are you going to get rid of it ?

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RTFA you nutters

It's just using the DIMM socket for power and mechanical mounting. Nice if you are tight on space and have spare DIMM slots.

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Not so brilliant - 2 hiccups

Sent to me:-

With a minor hiccup, two actually: (1) DIMM slot does not properly signal power-loss (no wonder - DIMMs don't care) and (2) memory hub has not been designed with microsecond-level time-out in mind. Otherwise it's just fine, provided one can get away with these two (which I doubt :)).

Thanks,

Chris.

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Power loss

(1) The purpose of the supercap on the flash DIMM is to store enough power so that when main supply drops, the flash controller can itself down properly with no advance warning.

(2) The flash DIMM is probably not connected electrically to the memory hub; only the power pins are used.

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@Chris

"(1) DIMM slot does not properly signal power-loss"

The article said they put a supercap on the board in the event of power loss.

"(2) memory hub has not been designed with microsecond-level time-out in mind"

You can be forgiven for thinking it uses the mem controller as an interface. The article wasn't very clear on that point. It's mounting into, and powered by, the mem slot. Data is likely a SATA port soldered onto the SATADIMM board.

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