I'm finding it quite difficult to navigate among the copious memory solutions available when selecting a RAM solution for a tiny embedded system I'm developing.

I will run an OS such as PetaLinux on a Zynq-7000 SoC and nothing more than 32 MB is required for this. Additionally, I will run a simple graphical user interface on a small touch screen.

This is a battery powered device and I really don't want any excessive resources on the board because of space and energy consumption. I feel a few GB of RAM might be very unnecessary. I also don't want to utilise any soon-to-be obsolete technology either.

  1. Are there any energetic downsides with having excessive RAM or are these negligible?
  2. For lasting technologies, is DDR3 SDRAM the optimal choice?
  3. How do RAM types deviate in energy consumption?

Any guidance is highly appreciated!

  • \$\begingroup\$ Pic32mz da;-) of course no linux, but on die 32mb is pretty nice. \$\endgroup\$ – Erik Friesen Aug 24 '17 at 2:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Microchip has or will shortly have 'solutions' with multi-die and module packages - with long-term availability pledges for both. They have a contract for supply of RAM from a 3rd party. \$\endgroup\$ – Spehro Pefhany Aug 24 '17 at 2:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ I kind of have everything settled already and will need a SoC with CPU+FPGA. What remains is an optimal RAM solution. \$\endgroup\$ – toxUP Aug 24 '17 at 12:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ 1 - The energy downside of unused RAM is its steady state power consumption. RAM that can be "put to sleep" would help minimize this. 2 - It appears that they may be reaching the miniaturization limits, if so, DDR3 SDRAM might be a good choice. 3 - Static Ram uses at least an order of magnitude more energy than dynamic RAM. Dynamic RAM is frequency "sensitive", it uses more energy as its operating frequency increases. \$\endgroup\$ – Guill Aug 25 '17 at 4:35

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