SK Hynix demonstrated its upcoming 48GB and 96GB DDR5-6400 registered memory modules for next-generation servers at Intel's Innovation event this week. The RDIMMs use the company's latest 24Gb DDR5 SDRAM devices and bring together high performance and high capacity.
SK Hynix showed off a variety of memory modules for next-generation servers, including 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB DDR5-5600 RDIMMs based on 16Gb DDR5 ICs as well as 48GB, and 96GB DDR5-6400 and DDR5-5600 RDIMMs featuring its 24Gb DDR5 ICs, reports Serve The Home.
It's worth noting that, for now, SK Hynix has only demonstrated 24Gb-based RDIMMs for servers, so you may not be able to find them among our best RAM modules for gaming desktops. Yet, nothing is stopping SK Hynix from making 24GB DDR5-6400 modules for desktops using the same 24Gb ICs eventually.
While some may consider 24Gb, 48GB, and 96GB capacities 'nonstandard' or 'non-binary,' they actually have three important advantages: they allow cloud service providers (CSP) to more accurately match the amount of DRAM to a specific capacity per core; 24Gb DDR5 ICs can be produced with sufficient yields using today's leading-edge process technologies; and these memory devices can support a 6400 MT/s data transfer rate without hurting yields.
"The more the merrier" is our typical approach to memory capacity of our PCs, but CSPs want to assign a very specific memory capacity (and preferably memory bandwidth) per core. For example, if a CSP wants 6GB of RAM per every core of AMD's EPYC 7763, it will ideally need to install 384GB of memory per socket. The problem is, the CSP cannot do this using 32GB or 64GB modules within an eight-channel memory subsystem. The situation is going to get trickier once AMD releases its 96-core and 128-core EPYC CPUs with a 12-channel memory subsystem and Intel launches its 60-core Xeon Scalable 'Sapphire Rapids' processors. This is when 48GB and 96GB modules come into play to simplify lives of CSPs.
Speaking of SK Hynix's 24Gb (3GB) DDR5 memory devices themselves, remember that they are made on 1anm fabrication technology that uses both extreme ultraviolet (EUV) and deep ultraviolet (DUV) lithography to increase device density without sacrificing yields. Adoption of EUV lithography allowed SK Hynix to increase capacity of its DRAM ICs to 24Gb, performance of memory devices all the way to 6400 MT/s as well as improve production efficiency. SK Hynix's 48GB DDR5-6400 RDIMM uses 20 24Gb devices, whereas the 96GB DDR5-6400 registered module relies on 40 of such ICs.
Both Samsung and SK Hynix have been sampling their 24Gb-based RDIMMs with various parties for a little less than a year now, so expect availability of 24GB, 48GB, and 96GB DDR5 memory modules around the time next-generation server platforms from AMD and Intel hit the market.
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Anton Shilov is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Over the past couple of decades, he has covered everything from CPUs and GPUs to supercomputers and from modern process technologies and latest fab tools to high-tech industry trends.