Aug 2, 2021 DDR5 Samsung Memory

Samsung is developing extreme DDR5 memory technology

Samsung announced last week that the company is developing 24 Gb DDR5 memory devices.


Such ICs (integrated circuits) will enable the company to build memory modules for servers with a capacity of up to 768 GB and high-capacity memory solutions for client PCs. In addition, Samsung revealed some peculiarities of its DRAM technology.
24 GB DDR5 chips under development

To meet the demand from cloud companies, we are also developing a DDR5 product with a maximum of 24 Gb.

Samsung has already demonstrated its 512 GB DIMM memory module (RDIMM) which uses 32 16 GB stacks based on eight 16 GB DRAM devices.

12 TB memory
By using 24 GB memory ICs in 8-Hi stacks, Samsung can increase the capacity of a stack to 24 GB and the capacity of the 32-chip module to 768 GB. Using RDIMM, a server CPU with eight memory channels and support for two modules per. channel, equipped with over 12 TB of DDR5 memory. To put the number in context, today's Intel Xeon scalable "Ice Lake-SP" CPU designed for memory-intensive workloads can support up to 6 TB of DRAM.

In addition to this, Samsung can build 96 GB, 192 GB, and 384 GB modules for mainstream and ultra-dense servers that do not use more than one RDIMM per. channel, but which can benefit from additional DRAM capacity.

24 and 48 GB DDR5 modules
For client applications, using 24 GB memory chips instead of 16 GB ICs can increase memory capacity by 50 percent, so expect 24 GB and 48 GB DDR5 modules at some point. Meanwhile, Samsung notes that 16GB DDR5 devices will be mainstream, so even though 24GB devices will be used for client applications, they are not just around the corner.

One of the most important features of DDR5 memory, in addition to increased data transfer speeds and performance-enhancing features, is the ability to increase capacity per second. device up to 64 Gb (up from 16 Gb in DDR4) and stack up to 8-16 DRAMs (depending on capacity) in one chip (against four in DDR4).

DRAM shrinkage becomes more difficult
It is a challenge to increase the capacity of memory ICs from 16 Gb to 32 Gb as it becomes increasingly difficult to shrink DRAM transistors and capacitor structures. Newer process technology no longer provides tangible improvements in node-to-node density.

Samsung, for example, refers to its most advanced DUV (Deep Ultraviolet) production process as a 15 nm node, while the latest technology (D1a) is based on EUV (Extreme Ultraviolet) in five layers is called 14 nm.
Previously, the company has not stated the number of EUV teams D1a uses. By using EUV instead of DUV, Samsung shrinks the number of process steps and DRAM costs. Samsung is currently testing 14 nm D1a-based 16 Gb DRAM with customers and plans to start mass production in the second half of 2021.

Samsung is the first memory manufacturer to pre-announce 24 Gb DDR5 ICs and will be among the first to utilize such high-capacity DRAM devices.
For competitive reasons, Samsung did not disclose any time perspective on the production of 24 Gb DDR5 DRAM and high-capacity memory modules. To meet the immediate need for ultra-high-capacity DDR5 modules when Intel's Xeon Scalable "Sapphire Rapids" processors hit the market in mid-2022, Samsung has 16 Gb-based 512 GB RDIMMs for testing by server customers.

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