Samsung Electronics has announced that it had started mass producing the industry’s first 64GB DDR4 registered dual Inline memory modules (RDIMMs) that use three dimensional (3D) “through silicon via” (TSV) package technology. The new high-density, high-performance modules are designed for next-generation enterprise servers and cloud-based applications.
The new RDIMMs include 36 DDR4 DRAM chips, each of which consists of four 4Gb DDR4 DRAM dies. The low-power chips are manufactured using Samsung’s 20nm-class process technology and 3D TSV package technology. The 64GB DDR4 modules are rated to run at 2133MHz. The modules are compatible with next-generation servers based on the Xeon E5 "Haswell-EP" chips.
To build a 3D TSV DRAM package, the DDR4 dies are ground down as thin as a few dozen micrometers, then pierced to contain hundreds of fine holes. They are vertically connected through electrodes that are passed through the holes. As a result, the new 64GB TSV module performs twice as fast as a 64GB module that uses wire bonding packaging, while consuming approximately half the power.
Since DDR4 DRAM architecture supports a limited amount of RDIMMs per channel, in order to boost amount of memory inside future servers it will be needed to increase capacity of memory modules. Since 16Gb DRAM devices are not even on horizon, TSV technology will be used to create stacked memory chips with 32Gb, 64Gb or higher capacity. Samsung believes that it will be able to stack more than four DDR4 dies using its 3D TSV technology, to create even higher density DRAM modules. This will accelerate expansion of the premium memory market, in line with an acceleration of the transition from DDR3 to DDR4 throughout the server market.
“Samsung is reinforcing its competitive edge in the DRAM market with its new state-of-the-art solution using its 3D TSV technology, while driving growth in the global DRAM market,” said Jeeho Baek, vice president, memory marketing, Samsung Electronics. “By introducing highly energy-efficient DDR4 modules assembled with 3D TSV, we’re taking a big step ahead of the mainstream DDR4 market, which should dramatically expand with the expected introduction of next-generation CPUs in the second half of this year.”
According to a research report from Gartner, the global DRAM market is expected to reach U.S. $38.6 billion and 29.8 billion units (1Gb equivalent) by year-end. Gartner also predicted that the server market will account for more than 20% of DRAM production this year with approximately 6.7 billion units (1Gb equivalent).