Near Future Apple Technology
Micron has been releasing more and more info on their "Hybrid Memory Cube" technology. Some info can be found here: http://www.micron.com/products/topics/supercomputing?source=MB
and here: http://www.hybridmemorycube.org
. Interestingly the spec has been finalized, so this is more than vapor ware now
Initial devices will be shipping in 2 & 4 GB offerings, not bad really. Now I haven't seen any indication that Intel or Apple are on board, but it would be hard to imagine they aren't. The thing here is what such technology could do for the likes of the Mac Pro as we dramatically increase storage density while lowering power. I could see Apple implementing this tech in a Mac Pro in a couple of years.
However it becomes even more interesting if you see this as almost the perfect technology to take iPads pass the 1GB barrier. I'm not about to discount the chips initial expense but think about what these memory cubes would allow Apple to do in an iPad. First you have a massive reduction in size. Second an estimated 70% reduction in power used per bit. Third amazing bandwidth.
On an iPad this would all work together to give us another stepped increase in performance. Apple could easily give us a 4X increase in available RAM, which Apps really need, while giving the GPU the bandwidth it needs. Bandwidth would be especially important on a larger iPad with considerably more pixels. It is the advantage to the GPU that I see as the big win here, in every APU design on the market the manufacture run up against the bandwidth problem trying to squeeze more performance out of the GPU.
Intel has gotten good results with Iris Plus using a multi chip module where the extra silicon is high speed memory. That isn't bad at all, however Memory Cube technology would offer that bandwidth to the entire memory array better support the GPU for traditional graphics and more importantly heterogenous computing.
Now some might argue that this tech would be better used in a laptop. That is possible but but the question really comes down to where do you need the extra RAM the most. I'd say iPads myself. It just seems like the perfect fit. It would likely be 2015 though before ramp up is secure enough for Apples demands.
In any event food for thought when it comes to the Mac Pro (needed to wake up the thread). I know I slipped off the path with the iPad stuff but that seems like a match made in heaven. On a Mac Pro this tech would allow for huge wads of memory soldered right onto the motherboard. In this respect Intel would have to be onboard implementing the interface into the CPU chips. I can't see Intel not being onboard though as I really don't know of a better short term solution.