Samsung announced on Hot Chips 33 that the company has developed the industry’s first DDR5-7200 512GB memory module. Compared with DDR4, Samsung’s DDR5-7400 memory module provides 40% higher performance and twice the capacity at a voltage of only 1.1V.
The company built a DDR5-7200 memory module, which contains 8 stacked DDR5 chips interconnected with TSV (Through Silicon Via) technology. This is a huge improvement over DDR4, which was previously limited to four DDR4 chips. Although the design is denser, the size of the DDR5 stack is 1.0 mm compared to the 1.2 mm of DDR4. Using thin wafer processing technology, Samsung was able to reduce the gap between chips by 40%, thereby reducing the height of the stack.
According to Samsung’s introduction, the manufacturer has implemented Same-Bank Refresh (SBR) through its DDR5-7200 memory modules. Samsung touted to increase the efficiency of the DRAM bus by as much as 10%. The company is also involved in a new decision feedback equalizer (DFE) that helps improve signal stability.
The operating voltage of the DDR5-7200 memory module is 1.1V, which is only 0.92 times the voltage of DDR4. Thanks to the high-efficiency power management IC (PMIC), voltage regulator and high-K metal gate process, it is possible to improve the power efficiency. Samsung said that its PMIC not only helps to reduce the operating voltage, but also reduces the noise in the process. As expected by DDR5, Samsung’s memory modules have on-chip error correction codes (ODECC) to ensure more reliable and safe data processing.
Samsung’s 512GB DDR5 memory module is exciting, but its target is the data center and server market. Consumer DDR5 memory may reach 64GB. However, the fact that Intel and AMD’s next-generation platforms will support large amounts of memory is not exciting. With the introduction of 32GB DDR4 memory sticks, mainstream users can have up to 128GB of memory on a motherboard with four DDR4 slots. Assuming that mainstream DDR5 reaches 64GB, even ordinary Joes can have up to 256GB of memory, which was previously unavailable outside of server platforms.
Samsung expects that mass production of its DDR4-7200 512GB memory module will begin at the end of 2021. The company believes that the transition of DDR5 to the mainstream market will not happen until 2023 or 2024.However, Intel’s 12th generation Alder Lake Hybrid chips are the first mainstream processors to support DDR5 and will lead the way when they debut in the fall of 2021.