Well, it looks like AMD is going to be the first to talk about them, and Intel will surely follow in short order.
The AMD version as we understand it is really quite a bright idea, and may simplify the desktop/server ram situation quite a bit. That version of a microbuffer it is more or less the components of a registered DIMM (rDIMM), shrunken down to a single discrete chip. Add in some special sauce and a few more features, and there you have it.
The interesting part is where they go, AMD will put one microbuffer between two DIMM slots, basically making each drive two DIMMs. This will effectively make each RAM channel support twice the number of DIMMs, allowing DDR3 to be a workable server solution. This is also called Buffer on Board (BoB).
We hear Intel is also working on such a beast, and it was shown off in prototypes a year or so ago. There appear to be enough differences between the two to make us think they are not exactly the same technology, but probably use the same type of memory.
In any case, AMD claims Intel is copying it, and Intel is claiming it did it first. There will probably be a monumental cock of the dunghill match happening before all is said and done, so stay tuned.
In the end, if it is done right, you will end up with one DIMM for both servers and desktops. The functionality and RAS will be determined by the board, not the DIMM, so they should be interchangeable. Since this would make everyone's life easier, you know it won't happen, but the potential is there.
In any case, that is going to be the future, a smaller buffer on the mobo, not on the DIMM. It is a win/win really, with no down side other than slightly less expensive memory made up for by more expensive RAM. The added capacity alone makes it a winner in our eyes. µ
A break from the status Kuo
In China, at least