The Hybrid Memory Cube Consortium has been almost too patient in developing a standard for for its eponymous technology -- efforts began 17 months ago -- but it at last has more than good intentions to show for its work. Its just-published HMC Specification 1.0 lets companies build platforms and RAM with 2GB, 4GB and 8GB chips incorporating the stacked, power-efficient technology, all without compatibility jitters from other supporters. The completed spec is a scorcher when living up to its full potential, too. With eight links, a memory cube can reach a peak 320GB/s (yes, that's gigabytes) of aggregate bandwidth -- more than a hair faster than the 11GB/s we often get from existing DDR3 memory.
The Consortium is teasing us with more. Although we'll have to wait until the second half of the year before HMC 1.0 products appear in earnest, the Consortium already has a next-gen blueprint due in early 2014 that should nearly double individual data link speeds (from 15Gbps to 28Gbps). While we'd like to see the group walk the walk with real products before it talks more talk, there's still a chance that some memory performance bottlenecks could vanish for a good, long while.