Samsung has revealed that it’s now mass producing memory modules with the largest capacity and the highest energy efficiency of any and all DRAM modules to date. These modules are primarily aiming at enterprise server and data center applications, but the firm is expected to address consumer products based on the same technology somewhere down the line.
At 128GB the new DDR4 sticks have been manufactured utilizing the through silicon via (TSV) interconnect technique. As opposed to traditional wire bonding, with TSV the chips are ground down to a few dozen micrometers possessing hundreds of tiny holes that enable vertical electrical connections to pass through the chips. The TSV technique isn’t new, but it’s more advanced and allows for a significant boost in signal transmission.
The unit is comprised of 36 4GB DRAM packages divided on two sides, with each package containing four 20nm 8Gb chips. In total it’s comprised of 144 DDR4 chips. Each package embeds the data buffer function, and according to Samsung this optimizes module performance and power consumption.
The hardware almost doubles performance at 2,400Mbps and halves the power usage in comparison to the previous highest capacity DRAM modules, 64GB LRDIMMS. It’s clear that where wired bonding limited performance, TSV opens things up for a great performance boost.
In addition to revealing a complete lineup of TSV DRAM in the coming weeks, Samsung added that the firm will be presenting modules with data transfer speeds up to between 2,667 and 3,200Mbps. Following the roll-out of its enterprise hardware, Samsung says it will be expanding TSV applications into high bandwidth memory (HBM) and consumer products, though it gives no exact time frame for when we might see this development.
While it might take a few years before you see this type of memory speed in one of your everyday devices, it’s exciting to think about just what might be possible with equally powerful hardware when it hits the market.
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