As the company explains, âA processor is ... worthless if itâs not being fed information fast enoughâ. That performance disparity, commonly dubbed âdata tailbackâ, occurs when a CPUâs performance potential is hampered by RAM limitations. This is becoming a growing engineering concern and an evolving business problem that demands a solution.
Blueshiftâs small team is tackling these issues, such as by designing complementary technologies for existing memory systems.
Blueshift's chief technology officer Peter Marosan, Blueshift's chief technology officer, leads a product demonstration at Hello Tomorrow 2019. Image courtesy of Blueshift.
The Technology Behind It All
Todayâs RAM comes in many varieties, and Blueshiftâs memory module is compatible with SRAM, DRAM, MRAM, and non-volatile cells. Their chip can remarkably speed up related memory processes, improving performance.
Accordingly, Blueshift states that their module is âindependent from the applied memory cell technologyâ. This companion architecture will unlock new possibilities in existing systems, while acting as a foundational component for new computing technology.
The Independent quantifies these gains, claiming that data operations can occur up to 1,000 times faster thanks to Blueshiftâs module. The technology shines alongside search engines, where large databases are rapidly combed in response to queries.
Pairing powerful CPUs with capable memory technology can dramatically improve this fetching. Thatâs promising news for both development teams and end users. Furthermore, computers may complete intensive operations in only fractions of the time.
Data stores are continually growing, and associated fragments occupy dynamic positions within RAM. Blueshiftâs module can assign crucial data to static positions. From here, access becomes faster and more predictable.
Dynamic, big data applications no longer have to be clunky behemoths. Swifter memory-handling enables real-time processing by hastening data calculations. Developers of deep-learning applications will enjoy harnessing this performance. In fine-tuning such hardware compatibility, engineers will see an exciting engineering challenge, as these chips will have unique resource demands (under normal circumstances, RAM is quite power-hungry on its own).
Blueshift memory module concept graphic. Image courtesy of Blueshift.
Current and Future Applications
Blueshift is targeting demanding fields with its emerging memory technology. Accordingly, these focus areas utilise systems vastly more capable than consumer devices and some enterprise networks. The companyâs memory module lends itself well to tasks in select disciplines as a result.
AI and Modelling Galore
Weâve touched briefly on the merits of Blueshiftâs memory in the AI space: better memory performance equates to highly-improved processing, as rapid data access fuels deep learning. Blueshiftâs technology should streamline data retrieval and decoding, and deep learning applications thrive on such concurrent calculations and retrieval processes. Blueshift believes its new architecture will be increasingly integral in this area.
DNA and climate research both rely on complex modelling. Computers generate these models by analysing a plethora of stored data and translating it into actionable visuals. These visuals evolve as databases grow, and memory plays a key role in accessing pertinent information. That unfettered handoff to the CPU makes intensive work more feasible. Adaptive visualisations of future eventsâlike genetic mutations and long-term climate changeârely on performant memory technology.
Few real-world testing grounds are better than todayâs major cities, which house millions of people. These residents are mobile, navigating crowded streets every minute of every day. Metropolitan areas are often traffic havens due to subpar urban planning, and infrastructure and urban layouts are clamouring for better optimisation as a result.
Test scenarios draw from the relevant accrued data, based on population and travel patterns; but while, understandably, these are highly complex, Blueshiftâs modules are capable of simultaneously digesting numerous moving parts. Traffic flow simulations allow officials to observe the impacts of even minute changes.
Virtual reality (VR) concept: a silhouette of a man in a VR-based urban simulation. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.
The Future of AR and VR
Blueshift acknowledges that latency is a driving force behind proper immersion. The user experience is extremely fickle with AR and VR devices, as even minute interruptions can be jarring. Accordingly, the companyâs memory supports peak application performance, especially at high resolutionsâwith a module optimised for dynamic scenarios.
Blueshift says its architecture supports blazing-fast image handling, so to help video render flawlessly in mere milliseconds.
Networking and Data Consumption
Engineering teams from internet service providers and networking companies may soon benefit immensely from new memory technology. Weâve often parroted data handlingâs importance in the past, but itâs truly the common denominator between applications.
Who consumes more data than internet users on a daily basis? This data is used in a staggering amount of ways under a variety of conditions. Now more than ever, customers and enterprise teams require lightning-fast access to information. Consequently, networking equipment represents a promising new testbed for Blueshiftâs modules.
Where Does Blueshift Go from Here?
Blueshift has been seeking additional funding to support the development of its chip. This has been an expensive endeavour, and more help is needed despite support from partners like the University of Cambridge.
Additionally, manufacturing the chip at scale is expected to be expensive, should Blueshift move past the prototyping stage. These hurdles are notable, especially if production yields are underwhelming. Much of Blueshiftâs future success will rely upon the availability of raw materials, which is unpredictable in the electronics space.
If the companyâs claims are true, many fields will benefit from heightened memory performance. This bottleneck is significant, but researchers should be able to mitigate it as development progresses. Ultimately, thereâs plenty to gain, and Blueshiftâs memory technology may certainly facilitate our next technological leap.