from the waiting-for-the-128-GB-ewe dept.
Samsung has developed the world's first 128 GB DDR4 registered memory modules for servers. From the press release:
Following Samsung's introduction of the world-first 3D TSV DDR4 DRAM (64GB) in 2014, the company's new TSV registered dual inline memory module (RDIMM) marks another breakthrough that opens the door for ultra-high capacity memory at the enterprise level. Samsung's new TSV DRAM module boasts the largest capacity and the highest energy efficiency of any DRAM modules today, while operating at high speed and demonstrating excellent reliability.
From The Register:
The Register is aware of servers with 96 DIMM slots, which means ... WOAH! ... 12.2 terabytes of RAM in a single server if you buy Samsung's new babies.
Samsung says these new DIMMS are special because "the chip dies are ground down to a few dozen micrometers, pierced with hundreds of fine holes and vertically connected by electrodes passing through the holes, allowing for a significant boost in signal transmission."
There's also "a special design through which the master chip of each 4GB package embeds the data buffer function to optimise module performance and power consumption."
AMD was the first and only company to introduce products using HBM1. AMD's Radeon R9 Fury X GPUs featured 4 gigabytes of HBM1 using four 1 GB packages. Both AMD and Nvidia will introduce GPUs equipped with HBM2 memory this year. Samsung's first HBM2 packages will contain 4 GB of memory each, and the press release states that Samsung intends to manufacture 8 GB HBM2 packages within the year.
GPUs could include 8 GB of HBM2 using half of the die space used by AMD's Fury X, or just one-quarter of the die space if 8 GB HBM2 packages are used next year. Correction: HBM2 packages may be slightly physically larger than HBM1 packages. For example, SK Hynix will produce a 7.75 mm × 11.87 mm (91.99 mm2) HBM2 package, compared to 5.48 mm × 7.29 mm (39.94 mm2) HBM1 packages.
The 4GB HBM2 package is created by stacking a buffer die at the bottom and four 8-gigabit (Gb) core dies on top. These are then vertically interconnected by TSV holes and microbumps. A single 8Gb HBM2 die contains over 5,000 TSV holes, which is more than 36 times that of a 8Gb TSV DDR4 die, offering a dramatic improvement in data transmission performance compared to typical wire-bonding based packages.
Samsung's new DRAM package features 256GBps of bandwidth, which is double that of a HBM1 DRAM package. This is equivalent to a more than seven-fold increase over the 36GBps bandwidth of a 4Gb GDDR5 DRAM chip, which has the fastest data speed per pin (9Gbps) among currently manufactured DRAM chips. Samsung's 4GB HBM2 also enables enhanced power efficiency by doubling the bandwidth per watt over a 4Gb-GDDR5-based solution, and embeds ECC (error-correcting code) functionality to offer high reliability.
TSV refers to through-silicon via, a vertical electrical connection used to build 3D chip packages such as High Bandwidth Memory.
Update: HBM2 has been formalized in JEDEC's JESD235A standard, and Anandtech has an article with additional technical details.
Samsung Electronics has announced the production of "10nm-class" 8 gigabit DRAM chips that will be used in DDR4 modules with capacities ranging from 4 GB to 128 GB. "10nm-class" is an industry term that refers to an unspecified process somewhere between 10 nanometers and 19 nanometers.
In November, Samsung announced the production of 128 GB DDR4 registered dual inline memory modules (RDIMMs) using through silicon via (TSV) stacked dies with four 8 gigabit chips per package. Those modules used 20nm process DRAM and achieved a 2,400 Mbps data rate. The new 10nm-class memory will support a 3,200 Mbps data rate.
Samsung has demonstrated 64 GB RDIMMs using 16 Gb DDR4 memory chips, and plans to make 128 GB and 256 GB modules later this year:
Samsung is demonstrating its 64 GB DDR4 memory module based on 16 Gb chips this week at the OCP U.S. Summit. The 64 GB RDIMM that the company is showcasing is designed for mainstream servers, but ultimately the design will lend itself to build 128 GB and 256 GB memory modules for high-performance servers, the company said.
Samsung's monolithic 16 Gb DDR4 DRAM chips are rated for DDR4-2666 at the industry-standard 1.2 V. The chips are produced using an advanced manufacturing technology, but Samsung does not disclose details at the moment (it is logical to expect Samsung to use its '10-nm-class' tech though). The only thing we do know is that the fabrication process and monolithic die enable 20% lower power consumption of the demonstrated 64 GB RDIMM when compared to a module of the same capacity based on 8 Gb DDR4 chips.
In addition to the new dual-rank 64 GB RDIMM module, Samsung is set to develop quad-ranked 128 GB RDIMMs and octal-ranked 256 GB LRDIMMs. Today's servers running AMD's EPYC or Intel's Xeon Scalable M-suffixed processors feature 12 or 16 memory slots - if the processors were capable of fitting all 256 GB modules, this could lead up to 4 TB per socket. This should be a massive advantage for applications like in-memory databases, virtual desktop infrastructure, and so on.
16 Gb chips may also end up being used in 32 GB memory modules for desktop users.
Also at Samsung.
Samsung's plans to make 256 GB memory modules using 16 Gb chips are moving forward:
Samsung this week demonstrated its first 256 GB memory module for upcoming servers. The new Registered DIMM (RDIMM) is based on Samsung's 16 Gb DDR4 memory devices introduced earlier this year and takes advantage of the company's 3DS (three-dimensional stacking) packaging. The new module will offer higher performance and lower power consumption than two 128 GB LRDIMMs used today.
Samsung's 256 GB DDR4 Registered DIMM with ECC carries 36 memory packages featuring 8 GB (64 Gbit) of capacity each, along with IDT's 4RCD0229K register chip (to buffer address and command signals and increase the number of ranks supported by a memory channel). The packages are based on four single-die 16 Gb components that are interconnected using through-silicon vias (TSVs). Architecturally, the 256 GB module is octal ranked as it features two physical ranks and four logical ranks.
1 TB can't be too far behind.