Samsung to release '3D' memory modules with 50% greater density

The memory chips are stacked vertically

Samsung today announced a new 8GB dual inline memory module (DIMM) that stacks memory chips on top of each other, which increases the density of the memory by 50 per cent compared to conventional DIMM technology.

Samsung's new registered or buffered (RDIMM) product is based on its current Green DDR3 DRAM and 40 nanometer (nm)-sized circuitry. The new memory module is aimed at the server and enterprise storage markets.

The three-dimensional (3D) chip stacking process is referred to in the memory industry as through silicon via (TSV). Samsung said the TSV process saves up to 40 per cent of the power consumed by a conventional RDIMM. Using the TSV technology will greatly improve chip density in next-generation server systems, Samsung said, making it attractive for high-density, high-performance systems.

The TSV technology creates micron-sized holes through the chip silicon vertically instead of just horizontally, creating a much denser architecture. Samsung said it eventually plans to apply the TSV technology to memory built with 30nm-class and smaller circuitry.

"Our 40nm-class RDIMM ... marks the introduction of a more advanced, eco-friendly "Green Memory" product line-up utilizing 3D-TSV technology that is expected to enhance the leadership of Samsung and our allies in server and enterprise storage," Chang-Hyun Kim, senior vice president and fellow in Samsung's memory product planning and application engineering division, said in a statement.

The new RDIMM module has already been successfully tested by major Samsung system-making partners, the company said.

Samsung did not release any suggested pricing for the new RDIMM product, which is likely to be generally available to equipment manufacturers in the second half of 2011.

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Lucas Mearian

Computerworld (US)
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