Samsung wants to push CAMM format into memory mainstream
Smaller footprint and detachable
Samsung confirmed today that its latest memory product will use the format of the recent JEDEC-ascribed standard, the Compression Attached Memory Module (CAMM) – making it the first time the memory format is being mass-produced by an entity other than its designer, Dell Technologies.
The chaebol's Low Power Compression Attached Memory Module (LPCAMM) repackages the company's (Low-Power Double Data Rate) LPDDRs into a smaller footprint, making the memory hardware not only faster and more efficient, but also detachable.
"Being a detachable module, LPCAMM offers enhanced flexibility for PC and laptop manufacturers during the production process," said Samsung.
This feature could also come in handy when conducting repairs or upgrading.
While the standard LPDDR is compact, it's permanently attached to the motherboard. The memory maker proposed that the modules could be useful in datacenters, by offering a way to upgrade server RAM.
Small Outline Dual In-line Memory Modules (So-DIMMs) are already detachable but have performance limitations. The standard CAMM size is larger than a SO-DIMM, but fewer are needed to achieve the required memory, ergo they overall take up less space and are more desirable in most scenarios.
The dual channel LPCAMMs also take up six percent less board space than So-DIMM modules do, says Samsung, with over 50 percent more performance and improving power efficiency by up to 70 percent.
No details were given on what conditions were tested to derive these numbers, but the units do come in 32GB, 64GB and 128GB varieties.
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According to Samsung, its 7.5 gigabits-per-second (Gbps) LPCAMM, known as the LPDDR5X-6400, has completed system verification with Intel platforms. No other systems were named as yet engaged in incorporating the new memory, but Samsung did say the product line is set to be tested in next-gen systems this year. Commercialization is slated for 2024.
Samsung is calling its LPCAMM an "industry first," and pitches it as transformative to the PC and laptop DRAM market.
The CAMM module format was introduced by Dell in late 2022. Some of the module's advantages can be ascribed to its shape. The contacts on the thin module are compressed against a bar placed between it and the motherboard, keeping air flow at minimum and the component itself in place.
With less air flow, it might seem like a potential thermal hazard, but instead the CAMM's shape lets it act as a heatsink of sorts. And because it's shorter, the paths of electrical routing are abbreviated – making them both more power efficient and faster.
Dell has used CAMM memory in products before, including its Precision 7000 series. Although it is patented, Dell has previously told media it would not keep the format all to itself.
CAMMs were also spotted in demos by Taiwanese fabless memory manufacturer Adata at this year's Computex. ®