MRAM Caches

EffrafaxOfWug

Radioactive Member
Feb 12, 2015
1,289
440
83
I was just looking at Anandtech's review of the ASRock X99 Eggsomething when this little titbit caught my eye...

On the back of the motherboard is this interesting IC from Everspin, which turns out to be 1MB of cache for the LSI controller. There is scope for ASRock to put extra cache on the motherboard, allowing for higher up RAID controllers, but the cost/competition scenario falls into play again.
I've always followed Everspin closely - they're the MRAM guys who were spun off from Freescale and I've been waiting for MRAM chips to make their way into hard drive/RAID array caches for years (there were some very interesting SSDs out of them a year or two back)... and now it looks like we finally have one! It's a sad state of affairs however when the reviewer doesn't immediately seize on the fact there's an MRAM chip sitting in front of them and go about testing it.

Or have I just been asleep and these have actually been commonplace for a while now?
 

RTM

Active Member
Jan 26, 2014
581
209
43
1MB. Won't even fit a picture from a camera phone in the last 5 years
Actually if you look at the link it's 1 Mbit :p

Nevertheless it is an interesting technology, hopefully they can get more success with it and keep developing it.

Btw: I read some of the review and I am not very impressed, the LSI 3008 is given crap for not supporting RAID 5/6 and being old:
Anandtech said:
The LSI 3008 is a little long in the tooth
Anyway it is a weird motherboard, if you have that much money why not just get a Xeon, ECC memory and a supermicro board?
 

Biren78

Active Member
Jan 16, 2013
550
94
28
Btw: I read some of the review and I am not very impressed, the LSI 3008 is given crap for not supporting RAID 5/6 and being old:
Yea I don't get that at all either. Total bizarre statement.

You're right on getting the SM board except I'd get one with fast networks too.
 

EffrafaxOfWug

Radioactive Member
Feb 12, 2015
1,289
440
83
It's a weird review alright; insert obligatory statement about Tom's Anand :)

But it's the first time I've seen an MRAM chip on any consumer-level product and certainly the only one I've seen in conjunction with an LSI HBA. Whilst I agree that 1Mb seems too small to be useful I was wondering if I'd missed MRAM appearing on other products; it's got the potential to utterly redefine storage since you can have something that's almost as fast as DRAM but with the permanence of NAND and no need for a battery/supercap backup. Interesting times ahead...

As an aside, here's one of their 2013 press releases about the MRAM chips in SSDs (something I didn't see make it into the OEM channel here but I wasn't looking terribly closely), apparently these were a drop-in replacement for DDR3. It says there that LSI have already incorporated it into their RAID controllers already so perhaps I have missed something...?

if you have that much money why not just get a Xeon, ECC memory and a supermicro board?
In the UK at least (of which Ian Cutress is a resident), Supermicro boards are a) generally harder to come by and b) much more expensive than a USD -> GBP conversion might suggest, so lots of us here have hopped on to the ASRock bandwagon. And gamers tend not to buy xeons because the non-xeons have bigger numbers and everyone knows that ECC slows everything down by as much as 0.023534fps which makes games completely unplayable ;) I'll never forget the arguments I had with an avid gamer insisting that Windows 2000 was a complete and utter joke since there was no way it could run the games that I had running on it... and that if I wanted to play any games at all 98 or ME were the only choices.
 

klree

Member
Mar 28, 2013
58
0
6
It's a weird review alright; insert obligatory statement about Tom's Anand :)

But it's the first time I've seen an MRAM chip on any consumer-level product and certainly the only one I've seen in conjunction with an LSI HBA. Whilst I agree that 1Mb seems too small to be useful I was wondering if I'd missed MRAM appearing on other products; it's got the potential to utterly redefine storage since you can have something that's almost as fast as DRAM but with the permanence of NAND and no need for a battery/supercap backup. Interesting times ahead...

As an aside, here's one of their 2013 press releases about the MRAM chips in SSDs (something I didn't see make it into the OEM channel here but I wasn't looking terribly closely), apparently these were a drop-in replacement for DDR3. It says there that LSI have already incorporated it into their RAID controllers already so perhaps I have missed something...?



In the UK at least (of which Ian Cutress is a resident), Supermicro boards are a) generally harder to come by and b) much more expensive than a USD -> GBP conversion might suggest, so lots of us here have hopped on to the ASRock bandwagon. And gamers tend not to buy xeons because the non-xeons have bigger numbers and everyone knows that ECC slows everything down by as much as 0.023534fps which makes games completely unplayable ;) I'll never forget the arguments I had with an avid gamer insisting that Windows 2000 was a complete and utter joke since there was no way it could run the games that I had running on it... and that if I wanted to play any games at all 98 or ME were the only choices.
Not sure when LSI use these MRAM for the HBA. But you can have a look on the review of the 9300-4i4e
The card also have this chip there
http://www.servethehome.com/Server-detail/lsi-9300-4i4e-hba-12gbps-sas-3/