Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

MaxiMem Report Summary

Project ID: 781574

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - MaxiMem (Improved Performance, Larger Memory, Longer Battery Smartphones)

Reporting period: 2017-08-01 to 2017-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

* What is the problem/issue being addressed?
In computers today, memory, including but not limited to DDR memory, is increasingly becoming a bottleneck to increased computational performance. Memory performance and capacity is not keeping up with the developments of new processors. This is a constraint from a cost perspective as some servers today carry half their hardware cost in memory, but it is also an energy problem since memory can consume as much as 20-30% of the total server energy.

ZeroPoint Technologies develops memory acceleration technology implemented as an Intellectual Property block close to the processor memory controller. By utilizing on-the-fly compression and decompression our technology can increase memory capacity and bandwidth of DRAM-based memories in System on Chip (SoC) applications. The benefit of our technology in mobile applications is reduced cost (from being able to squeeze in more data in smaller memories), and increase memory performance like increased memory bandwidth or memory capacity leading to increase application performance.

* What are the overall objectives?
The overall objective is to reduce cost and energy consumption in computers such as servers, phones, and laptops. This can reduce the cost of processing data, increase battery life and reduce climate impact from large scale server farms.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The technology offers benefits which translates into two different value propositions within the mobile segment: reduced memory costs or increased system performance. We have explored both value propositions both by quantifying the value provided in them, as well as by discussing them qualitatively with companies which could be possible customers to us.

The feasibility study was divided into three parts:

Quantify and confirm market viability: we do a top down analysis of the mobile phone market with intent on finding overall volumes, prices, and costs needed to investigate our value proposition
* Here, we have traveled to meet with the most important companies within the investigated segments to explore the value of our solution with them, and their interest to engage in future collaboration.

Technical Feasibility Study: we test and verify the technical potential of our technology against the conditions within the targeted market segment in order to show that it can indeed deliver on our proposed value propositions
* Here we have tested the performance of our technical solution with respect to memory compression, latency, memory expansion, and IP block size, all which are critical to demonstrate to a potential customer that our solution is viable.

Revised Business plan: we take into account both angles to formulate our value proposition and evaluate business potential.
* We have as a consequence of the results from the project decided to change target application from mobile/tablets to servers.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

To summarize we have within the project from talking with potential customers within different computer applications been able to zoom in to a suitable first target application which will benefit the most from our memory expansion technology.

We have also within the project been able to verify that the technical performance of our solution is attractive. We have verified both technically in pre-feasibility studies and from a market perspective that our technology can offer unrivaled benefits within the server market, both in significant cost savings and in form of reduced energy consumption.

We are very encouraged by our findings and will continue to pursue the commercial opportunity which we have identified within the project.

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