Samsung announces industry's first 512 GB DDR5 module
Micron and SK Hynix already announced their DDR5 implementations expected to launch this year from integrators like ADATA, Team Group or Kingston and now Samsung is stepping in with the announcement of its own take on the DDR5 standard. As the leading advanced memory technology maker, Samsung is upping the ante with industry’s first 512 GB DDR5 RAM modules designed for bandwidth-intensive computing applications. This large capacity is possible through the use of technologies like TSV (through-silicon via) and HKMG (High-K Metal Gate).
Samsung does not mention the exact frequencies for the new 512 GB DDR5 modules, but specifies that these can deliver twice the performance of current DDR4 modules, peaking at 7200 Mbps speeds, which should greatly improve data transfers for high-bandwidth workloads in supercomputing, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), as well as data analytics applications.
The HKMG process was first implemented in Samsung’s GDDR6 memory in 2018. This type of technology is usually used for processor dies that scale down faster than any other component (already at 5 nm now, while RAM is on 10 nm). DDR5 allows for increased scaling capabilities, but traditional insulation layers have become too thin, leading to a higher leakage current. By replacing the insulator with HKMG material, Samsung’s DDR5 will be able to reduce the leakage and reach new heights in performance. Additionally, the HKMG material will reduce RAM module energy requirements by 13%.
With the latest TSV iteration, Samsung is now able to stack eight layers of 16 Gb per DRAM chip. Each of the DRAM chips thus comes with a 16 GB capacity, so the total 512 GB capacity would require 32 chips. However, the images supplied by Samsung show that each module actually integrates 40 chips for a total of 640 GB. 8 of these DRAM chips are used for ECC (error correction code) since the modules are primarily designed for data centers.