The Trend of Functional Memory Development

Keikichi TAMARU  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Electronics   Vol.E76-C   No.11   pp.1545-1554
Publication Date: 1993/11/25
Online ISSN: 
DOI: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: INVITED PAPER (Special Issue on LSI Memories)
Category: 
Keyword: 
memory,  functional memory,  content addressable memory,  associative memory,  processor array,  

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Summary: 
The concept of functional memory was proposed over nearly four decades ago. However, the actually usable products have not appeared until the 1980s instead of the long history of development. Functional memory is classified into three categories; there are a general functional memory, a processing element array with small size memory and a special purpose memory. Today a majority of functional memory is an associative memory or a content addressable memory (CAM) and a special purpose memory based on CAM. Due to advances in fablication capability,the capacity of CAM LSI has increased over 100 K bits. A general purpose CAM was developed based on SRAM cell and DRAM cell, respectively. The typical CAM LSI of both types, 20 K bits SRAM based CAM and 288 K bits DRAM based CAM, are introduced. DRAM based CAM is attractive for the large capacity. A parallel processor architecture based on CAM cell is proposed which is called a Functional Memory Type Parallel Processor (FMPP). The basic feature is a dual character of a higher performance CAM and a tiny processor array. It can perform a highly parallel operation to the stored data.