Why Arira Platforms Built an HMC Evaluation Board

By Dan Williams - 2014-08-01

Dan Williams, Vice President Sales & Marketing / Arira Platforms

The Origins

Tools and resources for customer testing and evaluation are key to the success of any emerging technology.  Hybrid Memory Cube (HMC) is no different.  At Arira, we saw the potential in HMC and started to consider creating an HMC evaluation board and development kit in April 2011. The platform would be used by customers to perform detailed evaluations of HMC performance in their specific applications and would enable the HMC to be exercised via a program written by that customer. The power supply design would have to enable monitoring of power levels on individual rails to both the HMC and the FPGAs.

Before we could start developing, we had questions about the HMC protocol, power supply, and  SerDes internals (SI) requirements—all of which required us to interact with several groups at both Micron and our partner Altera. It was a worldwide effort to gather all of the individuals needed to answer the necessary questions, but with careful coordination, we completed the evaluation board.

Customer Benefits

With little training, customers can craft scripts to evaluate how HMC would work under the loads of their specific application.  The HMC is a revolutionary device, and our development kit allows customers to evaluate how the HMC is different from standard DRAM, as well as how they can design a system to get the most performance out of HMC.

Interest Is Building

The audience is getting bigger.  In addition to Micron’s supercomputing and networking customers, Arira has taken orders for the evaluation board from clients in the defense, aerospace, science, and communications industries.  We are fielding calls from a variety of universities, think tanks of various shapes and sizes, as well as video storage companies and space telescope developers. 

Learn more about the Arira HMC Evaluation & Development Board.

Dan Williams