Definitions

in memory of

Processor-in-memory

A Processor-in-memory (PIM) refers to a computer processor tightly coupled to memory, generally on the same silicon chip. Notable PIM projects include the UC Berkeley IRAM or Notre Dame PIM efforts.

The chief goal of merging the processing and memory components in this way is to reduce memory latency and increase bandwidth. Alternatively reducing the distance that data needs to be moved reduces the power requirements of a system. Much of the complexity (and hence power consumption) in current processors stems from strategies to deal with avoiding memory stalls.

In the 1980's, a tiny CPU that executed FORTH was fabricated into a DRAM chip to improve PUSH and POP. FORTH is a stack based language and this improved its efficiency.

The Transputer also had large on chip memory given that it was made in the early 1980's making it essentially a Processor-in-memory. see http://www.classiccmp.org/transputer/

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