Ik zag op Coolinfo een artikel van Newsbytes over de toepassing van L2 cache, waarvan het einde nabij is nu steeds vaker gebruik wordt gemaakt van embedded memory (zoals bijv. gebruikt in de Celeron en de nieuwe mobile PII's):
The systems run Intel Pentium lucrative static random access memory (SRAM) L2 cache market is about to become a memory. The market watchers predict discrete L2 cache will be almost completely phased out, at least on the desktop, by 2002.
L2 cache is memory installed logically between a processor and a machine's main RAM. The cache chip is used to hold recently used data, making repetitive operations faster than if the processor had to go into main RAM and search for the same data bits over and over. But L2-equivalent cache is increasingly being engineered onto the processors themselves, making external cache unnecessary.
The Semico study, titled "SRAM: Soon Cache Will Be Just An Embedded Memory," predicts that merchant market revenues will decline nearly $1.5 billion by 2002, while units shipped will decline at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of -15 percent during the period 1997 through 2003. All in all, says the market research firm, the SRAM cache market is becoming a difficult place to live and it won't get any easier.
The researchers attribute the erosion of demand for discrete SRAM to embedded SRAM in L2 cache and other applications. Non-commodity parts for specialized chips will still offer profits to SRAM makers that have sufficiently advanced technology, says the firm, citing double data rate (DDR) chips, late-write SRAMs and copper interconnects as innovations that will help SRAM meet the speed-demon requirements of high-end networks and workstations.
Still, the erosion of the commodity SRAM market will not reverse itself, predicts Semico. The firm says total megabits shipped will decline 25 percent, CAGR, between now and 2003, even while the cost-per-megabit decreases from $3.15 to $0.68 by the end of the same six-year time frame. In terms of units, the picture is just as bleak for SRAM cache makers. Units shipped will drop by about 240 million units and revenues will fall approximately $1.6 billion during the entire forecast period, predicts the firm.
The researchers give a roadmap for L2 cache market erosion. Desktop and notebook computers will see L2 cache integrated first, say the researchers, and discrete SRAM consumption for those machines will nosedive from $2 billion this year to only $15 million in 2002. On the other hand, servers and workstations will still use discrete SRAM through 2003, says the firm, since it will take more time to integrate L2 cache in the high densities such computers need.
Looking ahead, from 2001 to 2003, revenues will come mainly from 4 megabyte (MB), 8 Mb and 16 Mb parts, boosted a bit by the introduction of 32 Mb parts toward the end of the forecast period.