Short for Multibank DRAM, a memory technology developed by MoSys Inc. MDRAM utilizes small banks of DRAM (32 KB each) in an array, where each bank has its own I/O port that feeds into a common internal bus. Because of this design, data can be read or written to multiple banks simultaneously, which makes it much faster than conventional DRAM.
Another advantage of MDRAM is that memory can be configured in smaller increments, which can reduce the cost of some components. For example, it’s possible to produce MDRAM chips with 2.5 MB, which is what is required by video adapters for 24-bit color at a resolution of 1,024×768. With conventional memory architectures, it’s necessary to jump all the way to 4 MB. Currently, MDRAM is used only in some video adapters and graphics accelerators.