With SSD's becoming mainstream I guess at some point they have to be moved to hang off the northbridge on the servers.
If not I'm not sure at what point the southbridge will be a bottleneck before the server becomes IO bound.
Any thoughts anyone ??
Interesting question. I'm not sure northbridges really exist anymore, but conceptually I see where you're coming from. Essential putting the I/O controller for the SDD of the primary processing block with CPU and memory and not having it treverse some internal bus.
I doubt architecturally we will see changes like this made specifically for SSD in server platforms. Comparatively speaking SSDs are dam slow compared to other devices connected to the primary processing block and internal buses are still extremely quick and wide. With a small number of SSDs (like in servers) it would be difficult to saturate the bus, particularly since only a small amount of data actually needs to go north bound, most is sent south bound.
As Cris Danci mentioned, northbridge is pretty much gone, especially with the arrival of Intel's Sandy Bridge. Most of the traditional northbridge functions - memory controller, PCIe lanes, and even GPU - have been integrated into the CPU. In modern Intel chipsets, the few remaining northbridge functions and all of the southbridge functions are handled by PCH (Platform Controller Hub). I still see the terms NorthBridge and SouthBridge in the BIOS, even in new servers, but I think it's logical, rather than physical, division of functions.
As to SSDs, PCIe-based SSDs - that bypass southbridge completely - have been out for a while now. See some links:
Intel® SSD 910 Series
Enterprise PCIe SSD - Micron Technology, Inc.
PCIe SSD Flash Drives & Storage Class Memory Solutions - FlashMAX II - Virident Systems
So it looks like there is significant market traction in this direction...
See below where they have moved it to hang off the memory channels.
My take is architecture might not move over from the Von Neumann's model.
SSD's might be best placed between the RAM and Physical disks (like the IO cards).
North and Southbridge were relevant when speeds of cpu and ram, were outpacing the
speed of IO devices, that is still relevant today. PCH has just merged ICH and MCH but yet
the basics have remained the same.
The entire IT design as I see is just revolving around reducing RM%.
I am sorry that I have moved little over from the original question.
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