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  • SharkyForums.Com - Print: Memories of Memory. How much, when?

    Memories of Memory. How much, when?
    By James November 18, 2000, 12:24 PM

    *Note: This topic and post were originally in the CPU/Overclocking forum. On that forum it floundered, so I am transferring it to this one. If any of you do not think that it belongs here post as much and I will delete it.


    I was cruising through good 'ol Sharky Extreme looking for P4 threads when I came across an article about the different CPU technologies and their specs. The thing that caught my eye was the memory address capabilities that were noted. The original pentium pro offered an amazing 36-bit memory address. With this it could address up to 64GB of RAM. This is damn impressive. When the PII and PIII came out, Intel had gone back to 32-bit addressing that was only cabable of addressing 4GB. The Xeon (Intel's high-end processor meant for workstations and small servers) retained the 36-bit addressing scheme to better compete in the server market where multi-gigabyte systems are common. Now in the article it states that the Athlon has a 43-bit addressing scheme. This allows it to address 8TB of RAM. I have not been able to find an official document to back that fact up (if any of you do, please post the address.) Now the most impressive stat is yet to come. Intel's Itanium (formerly Merced) is a 64 bit processor. No big deal, there are other ones on the market for servers. What is a big deal is that the Itanium uses a 64-bit addressing scheme. This gives it a mind-boggling 18,000,000 TB addressing capacity. Thats eighteen billion gigabytes! I went to Intels site and found a rather obscure mention of the memory address bus in one of their technical specifications. It confirmed that the Itanium will use a 64-bit address scheme. Anyway, enough with the background.
    What do you think of this kind of memory capacity?
    Do you think it will ever be realized (in a compact enough form to be used in a normal PC)?

    If so, when?

    And finally, why do you think that Intel would give its processor such a massive memory addressing scheme?

    Related Sharky link follows: http://www.sharkyextreme.com/hardware/articles/99/itanium_vs_k8/2.shtml

    When I find the Intel link again I will post it.

    I hope those with more knowledge (and imagination) than me will share their ideas.

    By James November 18, 2000, 12:27 PM

    Interesting Info related to the concept of 18,000,000 TB or 18EB....

    The Prefixes of the S I

    yotta [Y] 1 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 = 10^24
    zetta [Z] 1 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 = 10^21
    exa [E] 1 000 000 000 000 000 000 = 10^18
    peta [P] 1 000 000 000 000 000 = 10^15
    tera [T] 1 000 000 000 000 = 10^12
    giga [G] 1 000 000 000 (a thousand millions = a billion)
    mega [M] 1 000 000 (a million)
    kilo [k] 1 000 (a thousand)
    hecto [h] 100
    deca [da]10
    1
    deci [d] 0.1
    centi [c] 0.01
    milli [m] 0.001 (a thousandth)
    micro [µ] 0.000 001 (a millionth)
    nano [n] 0.000 000 001 (a thousand millionth)
    pico [p] 0.000 000 000 001 = 10^-12
    femto [f] 0.000 000 000 000 001 = 10^-15
    atto [a] 0.000 000 000 000 000 001 = 10^-18
    zepto [z] 0.000 000 000 000 000 000 001 = 10^-21
    yocto [y] 0.000 000 000 000 000 000 000 001 = 10^-24

    Info pulled from this page: http://www.ex.ac.uk/cimt/dictunit/dictunit.htm

    And another SI link: http://physics.nist.gov/cuu/Units/prefixes.html

    By iamsostupid November 26, 2000, 02:31 PM

    well, when the first pentium came out (at 60Mhz right? I was only 5yrs old), 16 or 24 or 32mb of ram was more than enought for the average joe. Workstations and servers had no more than 128 or 160mb. 7 years later, systems are coming out with minimums of 64mb and maximums of 4GB, while people like us have 192-384mb of memory. I have 320
    So anyway, if we keep that proportion, in another 7 years, we will have 7.5GB-12GB of main system memory at our disposal. But amount isnt really the answer is it? No. Bandwidth. We need a FSB at a few gigahertz, and some octuple-data-rate DIMMS at CAS1, at .2ns to really kick ass. So yes, we'll need more RAM, but more RAM speed at the same time. Also, compression is an issue. Back in the 80's, 3mb of RAM (dont know the standard) took up a 9'x9'x9' cube, and each cube of 3mb had its own closet, where cabling went into the wall to plug into a 'super'computer. Now, I can hold 16GB of SDRAM in the palm of my hand! So, we will begin seeing DIMMS with 1GB, 2GB, and 4GB capacities soon. Ive got to admit its getting better. Its getting better all the time. Wasnt Sgt Pepper great? Espescially for the 60's.

    By Down8 November 26, 2000, 07:21 PM

    quote:Originally posted by James:
    Intel's Itanium (formerly Merced)
    Yey! I'm from Merced, CA. Sorry.

    It's fairly apparent that this amount of RAM will never be 'mainstream', if ever realized in anything. Anyway, quantum computers are the future!

    Check this out: http://www.newscientist.co.uk/features/features.jsp?id=ns225415

    -bzj

    By Maco Shark November 28, 2000, 10:02 PM

    I am glad that the Itanium will explore new frontiers. This is one area I am mad at AMD for. I think we need to ditch x86, go to IA-64. The worst thing about both these companies going at it their own way, is they arent both putting together a univeral 64-bit architechture. The first generation of 64bit processors in my opinion will be slow, clumsy, and not very attractive. If AMD and Intel would get together and discuss a univeral 64-bit architecture, everyone would be happy, programmers will have only one technoly to develop for, and we have 2 great companies ideas on this. If we could get Alpha in on this, we would have some amazing quaality processors.

    SUPPORT A PETITION - LET IA-64 BE A STANDARD, NOT A ONE COMPANY IDEA!

    By Moridin January 13, 2001, 09:00 PM

    quote:Originally posted by Maco Shark:
    I am glad that the Itanium will explore new frontiers. This is one area I am mad at AMD for. I think we need to ditch x86, go to IA-64. The worst thing about both these companies going at it their own way, is they arent both putting together a univeral 64-bit architechture. The first generation of 64bit processors in my opinion will be slow, clumsy, and not very attractive. If AMD and Intel would get together and discuss a univeral 64-bit architecture, everyone would be happy, programmers will have only one technoly to develop for, and we have 2 great companies ideas on this. If we could get Alpha in on this, we would have some amazing quaality processors.

    SUPPORT A PETITION - LET IA-64 BE A STANDARD, NOT A ONE COMPANY IDEA!


    The way I understand it all memory operations are performed using 32 bits. In effect you have a register that is 32 bits wide for memory addressing. However the register has 4 additional bits that can be set or changed as required, but you would need specify the change. This allows you to access the additional memory. 4 bits = 16 possible combinations and 4 GB X 16 =64 GB. I think the pins are not there on the PII/PIII to support this but that the logic still exists internally.

    In this configuration you would not have a flat 64 GB address space. I may be mistaken though I know this is basically what X86 processors up to the 486 did (what I studied in school 6 years ago since the P5 was still very new) however it is possible my memory has failed me or new features have been added to X86.

    Are there any programmers out there who could comment on this? Is the memory model for 64 GB X86 platforms flat? How do you utilize the memory?

    Most 64 bit platforms do not currently use the full 64 bits for addressing I don't know what Itanium does.


    By James August 28, 2001, 06:38 PM

    I got to reading about the Itanium again recently, and I would like to bump this thread and see if we can get any new opinions on it. As always, I apologize if I am out of place in this forum.

    By Maverick_TheOriginal September 08, 2001, 11:51 PM

    In the age of Windohs, there will never be a limit to the need for more memory. Next we'll be decoding the latest movie to our RAM for improved playback. :-)

    "640k ought to be enough for anyone" - Bill Gates, 1981

    By s1203372 September 10, 2001, 04:15 PM

    It wasn't that long ago, less than 5 years, that a disk array was needed for multiple GB's of storage. At that time, a typical HDD would hold tens of megabytes, and a good amount of memory was 4 MB to 8 MB. Now we have disk drives coming out in the hundreds of GBs and a good memory amount is 512 MB.
    Considering that disk arrays (ala HP's XP512 array) now have capacities of tens of terabytes, I would expect to see more massive amount of memory needed soon. Although, I don't expect to see it in one monolithic block, but rather as separately addressable memories split off among many processors (probably on 1 die). The massive parallelism would solve many of the bottleneck issues we have with todays memory architechtures.

    By Jammer1957 October 13, 2001, 10:04 PM

    What does it matter if your OS limits you to a total of 768mb of ram?

    By Moridin October 13, 2001, 10:16 PM

    quote:Originally posted by Jammer1957:
    What does it matter if your OS limits you to a total of 768mb of ram?

    Which OS is that?

    By sourdaisy October 14, 2001, 05:40 AM

    quote:Originally posted by Jammer1957:
    What does it matter if your OS limits you to a total of 768mb of ram?

    Sounds like you're not running the right OS.

    You have to remember that while the MS home consumer OSs, Win9x, don't support a lot of RAM currently, they are only 32bit OSes. The systems we are referring to that are cabable of 18EB are running on 64bit processors. Of course, they will have OSes to match and will be capable of using much more RAM than the current computing needs require.

    By slavik October 14, 2001, 11:16 AM

    I think that a 64gb stick of ram will be mainstream if the companies figure out how to cram 8gb's into a single chip, which is almost impossible now.

    Those servers, I believe that they have like 64 sticks of 1gb ram modules.

    By gillgates October 16, 2001, 02:03 AM

    If you have too much ram you can slow your pc down. The memory addresses will become so long it will take too much time for the cpu to decode the addresses. A pentium pro with 64gb or ram would run slower then a 486.

    By upsidedown2k1 October 16, 2001, 05:59 AM

    i agree with the above comment about how greater bandwidth for memory is more important than the ammount of memory... mabey the manufacturers are just getting the whole ammount thing out of the way so they can start working on more bandwidth... once we start seeing the bandwidth really increase im guessing thats where we'll see the performance of PC's really increase... but for now im just gonna keep looking for a motherboard that supports 18 Billion GB PC133 SDRAM
    -DupHy

    By mellojoe October 17, 2001, 11:35 AM

    quote:Originally posted by s1203372:
    ...(snip)...I would expect to see more massive amount of memory needed soon. Although, I don't expect to see it in one monolithic block, but rather as separately addressable memories split off among many processors (probably on 1 die). The massive parallelism would solve many of the bottleneck issues we have with todays memory architechtures.

    This comment caught me off guard and has really opend up many questions. I wonder if multiprocessor computers, then, would start to be able to use separate memory caches. Have one chip that has dedicated 1gb of memory for just its use, the other chip has its own 1gb of memory for use, and the remaining 60-some-odd GB of memory for both to use for larger usage.

    This would greatly increase bandwith as you would have a certain amount of RAM that would need a very short memory address, and only larger file sizes would require larger memory addresses.

    Such an interesting thought...

    I wonder, then, on these massive amounts of RAM if there would be dedicated slots. Such that there would be, say, 4 or 5 gb of memory dedicated to just one set of programs. These programs would constantly remain in memory to be accessed by the CPU whenever necessary. I don't know what types of programs this would encompass, but only harddisk space would be needed to maintain the programming for power-loss to the RAM (shutdown, reboot, etc). Upon power-up, the RAM would be loaded with that program, and it would remain in memory for the duration of power-up.

    Another interseting thought....

    I am intrigued. I am very curious to how memory managing will be like in the future. And when I say "future" I mean ... next week? next month? a year? five years? It won't be long.

    By allmixedup October 17, 2001, 07:57 PM

    "well, when the first pentium came out (at 60Mhz right? I was only 5yrs old), 16 or 24 or 32mb of ram was more than enought for the average joe. Workstations and servers had no more than 128 or 160mb. 7 years later, systems are coming out with minimums of 64mb and maximums of 4GB, while people like us have 192-384mb of memory. " commented iamsostupid

    So from what you tell us you are 12 years old and you can write a reply like the one you did......if you really are twelve, screw junior high and go straight on to college.


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