Press Release: Kentron Technologies Announces DDR Based Quad Band Memory (QBM) Through 2005


Posted By Kathy Smith

Date: December 6, 2001

QBM technology uses today’s existing, low cost DDR SDRAM memory devices to double the memory bandwidth to the highest in the industry and provide balance for years to come with the fastest system processors.

Wilmington, MA (December 6, 2001) -
Kentron Technologies, a leading provider of next generation memory technologies, released its evolutionary technology roadmap for Quad Band Memory (QBM) module or board based solutions. The QBM (bit packing) technology utilizes the current, low cost DDR memory devices and new, faster switching technology to deliver the highest memory bandwidth in the industry. By combining the QBM technology with faster switching devices and the faster DDR devices, Kentron and its partners will deliver QBM module and board based solutions up to 6.4 GB/sec (12.8 GB/sec for dual channel applications) by 2005.
The movement to DDR based QBM avoids experiences such as those realized with the non-DDR compatible memory technologies which resulted in higher cost devices, a high impact on the infrastructure and extraordinary technical challenges of increasing frequency and/or widening the memory bus width. Additionally, QBM is not limited to point-to-point applications like other non-DDR compatible memory technologies. The technology provides the fastest memory for both point-to-point and general memory subsystems.

“By using existing, low cost, industry standard DDR 1 memory devices combined with QBM technology, the industry can immediately realize the bandwidth of future, more expensive DDR 2 memory,” said Bob Goodman, CEO of Kentron Technologies. “Kentron’s QBM memory solution is very scalable to new DDR devices and exceeds the price and performance goals for fast, affordable memory to match the fastest PC, Workstation, Server and Telecom processors.”

New, faster components from members of the QBM Alliance
The QBM technology utilizes the newly designed, faster switch component (QBM10) initially available from STMicroelectronics. This new switch design is a dramatic improvement over standard switching devices in that it exceeds the requirement to operate at 533MHz and is manufactured using today’s standard process technology. Additionally, QBM uses a newly designed, more capable Phase Lock Loop (PLL) component from Integrated Circuit Systems, Inc. that provides the desired phase shift and frequency multiplication.

“Kentron's QBM provides, in our opinion, a very promising solution for memory systems, by doubling the available bandwidth of the fastest existing solutions at a competitive cost”, said Fabrice Gringore, Product Marketing Engineer with STMicroelectronics. “We have been working with Kentron to help enable the technology and we are now moving forward as a member of the QBM Alliance.”

“QBM offers an innovative technique for doubling memory bandwidth utilizing existing components,” said Jim Holbrook, Marketing and Applications Manager at Integrated Circuit Systems, Inc. “This technology gives users the performance today promised by future memory standards such as DDR 2 and ADT. ICS has been working together with Kentron Technologies to define and develop a high performance PLL with enhanced features such as frequency multiplication and 90 phase shift which are required to support the higher data throughput offered by QBM.”

Improving bandwidth performance with QBM
The techniques generally used to improve memory performance include increasing the device frequency, widening the BUS architecture, reducing latency, and increasing the number of bits of data handled per cycle. There are significant technical challenges, new infrastructure demands and higher costs associated with the first three approaches. The fourth, less costly approach (QBM technique) maintains the industry standard frequency (100/133MHz), the device latency and the existing 64-bit BUS structure and doubles the number of bits per cycle providing the highest bandwidth performance available.

An additional feature that is inherent in the technology is the ability to reduce the BUS loading in a system to allow running multiple modules (8+). Future DDR 2 modules will be limited to 2 modules per system. QBM, using Kentron’s patented “E-BUS” switch technology, reduces the overall data bus loading by eliminating the load of the non-active modules.

The road to 6.4 GB/sec memory bandwidth and beyond
Kentron is announcing the availability of QBM modules running at 3.2 GB/sec bandwidth (400MHz data rate) and 4.2 GB/sec bandwidth (533MHz data rate) in the first quarter of 2002, at least a year ahead of the rest of the industry. Faster QBM modules running at 5.4 GB/sec bandwidth (667MHz data rate) will coincide with the availability in volume of the faster DDR333 memory devices expected in 2003. QBM modules running at 6.4 GB/sec bandwidth (800MHz data rate) will be available once the memory industry is able to introduce in volume the faster DDR 2 memory devices sometime in 2004.

Working with the industry through the QBM Alliance Program
The QBM Alliance program includes industry leaders that provide critical DDR based system solutions such as memory controllers, system motherboards, routers, components and memory modules. Kentron includes its members as part of the Alliance Program on the QBM web site, www.QuadBandMemory.com, as well as all of the QBM related, press and marketing communication activities.

Founded in 1996, Kentron Technologies specializes in the design, engineering and manufacturing of advanced memory products and platforms to meet the speed and density requirements of high performance systems. Kentron manufactures its products in three locations in the United States and maintains a world-class engineering and R&D facility in Massachusetts. Kentron Technologies corporate headquarters is based at 155 West Street in Wilmington. MA.

Attention Editors: for additional information about Kentron Technologies, Inc. please contact Andrea Echavarria-Pruna, Kentron Technologies, Inc., 155 West Street, Wilmington, MA, at (978) 988-9100, extension 4161, or at andrea@kentrontech.com.

 Attention Investors: For investor information please contact Vasilios Karabatsos, Kentron Technologies, Inc., 155 West Street, Wilmington, MA, at (978) 988-9100, extension 4120, or at vkarabatsos@kentrontech.com.

Additional information is available at the Company’s website http://www.kentrontech.com.



Andrea Echavarria-Pruna
Kentron Technologies, Inc
(978) 988-9100, ext. 4161