ASIC enables industry’s first 512GB CXL memory module
Samsung Electronics has developed the first 512-gigabyte Compute Express Link (CXL) DRAM module in the industry. This is an important step toward the commercialization of CXL which will enable extremely high memory capacity with low latency in IT systems.
The 512GB CXL DRAM will be the first memory device that supports the PCIe 5.0 interface and will come in an EDSFF (E3.S) form factor for next-generation high-capacity enterprise servers and data centres.
CXL is key to disaggregated memory architectures with low latency for higher performance and lower energy use. This enables a large pool of memory that is shared between CXL and main memory to allow a server to expand its memory capacity to tens of terabytes, and at the same time increase its bandwidth to several terabytes per second.
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The first CXL DRAM prototype, launched in May 2021, had 128Gbytes and used a field-programmable gate array (FPGA) controller. Since then Samsung has been working closely with data centre, enterprise server and chipset companies to develop an improved, customizable CXL ASIC.
“CXL DRAM will become a critical turning point for future computing structures by substantially advancing artificial intelligence (AI) and big data services, as we aggressively expand its usage in next-generation memory architectures including software-defined memory (SDM),” said Cheolmin Park, Vice President of Memory Global Sales & Marketing at Samsung Electronics, and Director of the CXL Consortium. “Samsung will continue to collaborate across the industry to develop and standardize CXL memory solutions, while fostering an increasingly solid ecosystem.”
“As an active member of the CXL Consortium, Lenovo is committed to developing this important standard and helping build the ecosystem around the new CXL interconnect,” said Greg Huff, Chief Technology Officer, Lenovo Infrastructure Solutions Group. “We are excited to be part of Samsung’s CXL development program, working to foster the growth and adoption of innovative CXL products in future Lenovo systems.”
“CXL is a key technology that enables more innovative ways to manage memory expansion and pooling which will play an important role in next-generation server platforms,” said Christopher Cox, Vice President of Strategic Technology at Montage Technology. “Montage is excited to continue partnering with Samsung to help the CXL ecosystem expand rapidly.”
Later this month, Samsung plans to unveil an updated version of its open-source Scalable Memory Development Kit (SMDK). The toolkit is a comprehensive software package that allows the CXL memory expander to work seamlessly in heterogeneous memory systems — enabling system developers to incorporate CXL memory into various IT systems running AI, big data and cloud applications, without having to modify existing application environments.
The 512Gbyte module will sample in Q3 for commercialization as next-generation server platforms become available.
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