The first systems based on the new DDR5 RAM standard are just around the corner, and industry giants like Samsung are immersed in a development process that seems to seek the limits of capacity, density and speed from the beginning. they can deliver with this standard. Samsung’s new DDR5 modules are based on the HKMG process and offer a speed per pin of 7200 Mbps, exceeding all current performance benchmarks.
Samsung DDR5, with up to 512GB capacity per module
Samsung claims that these 512GB DDR5 RAM modules will expand its existing portfolio to offer the densest capacity ever produced to date. The modules will have the process HKMG (High-K Metal Gate) which was also used by the manufacturer to produce the GDDR6 VRAM chips at the time, and which allows the modules to save 13% energy while reducing leakage in the form of heat.
In terms of specs, Samsung 512GB DDR5 memory offers twice the performance of DDR4 memory, with speeds of up to 7200Mbps per pin. The memory features a total of 40 DRAM chips, each with eight layers of 16 Gb DRAM modules stacked and connected with TSV (Through Silicon Via).
Unprecedented density at twice the speed of DDR4
From the press release sent by Samsung to the media, we extract the following relevant information:
“Samsung is the only semiconductor company with memory and logic capabilities and the expertise to incorporate HKMG cutting-edge logic technology into memory product development. By bringing this type of process innovation to DRAM manufacturing, we are able to offer high-performance, energy-efficient memory solutions to power computers for medical research, financial markets, autonomous driving, smart cities and much more.
With this Samsung is telling us that this memory technology is more oriented to the Business market, but it is rather because they will have an exorbitant price and not suitable for the consumer market, but it does not necessarily mean that it will not reach it. In fact, it is common for new technologies to be launched first for the professional market because of their cost, but once established and with mature processes, they generally also reach the consumer market not long after.
Samsung’s DDR5 uses highly advanced HKMG technology that has traditionally been used only in logic semiconductors (processors). With the constant reduction of DRAM structures, the insulation layer has become thinner, leading to a higher leakage current; By replacing the insulator with HKMG material, Samsung’s DDR5 reduces these figures and reaches new heights of performance while using 13% less energy.
Leveraging the technology of pathways through silicon (TSV), this DDR5 RAM is capable of stacking eight layers of 16Gb DRAM chips to deliver the highest density ever seen: 512GB per memory module. TSV was first used in its DRAM in 2014 when server memory modules with densities of 256GB were introduced.
The manufacturer is currently testing different variations of its DDR5 family of products for customers to verify and ultimately certify for their cutting edge products to speed up AI / ML, computing, network analysis and other data intensive workloads.
For now Samsung has only said that they are testing different variations of this memory, but they do not provide any release date. We can expect the technology to be ready by the end of this year as Intel and AMD platforms will start hitting store shelves by then, but we can also hope that prices skyrocket, at least initially.