OCZ Talks on Next-Generation PC Memory PCBs

Ultra Low Noise 2 Technology Revealed

by Anton Shilov
02/16/2004 | 07:26 PM

A well-known maker of quality memory modules – OCZ Technology Group – today discussed its new technique to address interference and noise issues on high-speed memory modules. The tech is expected to be available on OCZ’s future products, including upcoming DDR-II memory modules.


Based upon the success of Ultra Low Noise PCBs used in all OCZ’s memory sticks for overclockers, OCZ Technology has improved upon the quality and design of the PCB and is now ready to begin using PCBs based on ULN 2 Technology to further reduce noise and interference on the PCB.

ULN 2 is based on a custom-built PCB with special emphasis on reducing this noise and interference that is present in all electronic circuits. ULN 2 includes additional shielding features as well as improved signal routing to help increase the maximum speed that can be attained on the module, OCZ said it its statement.

The additional shielding present helps to reduce the interference from other nearby devices as well as on the PCB itself. Shielding is generally accomplished through the use of large metal planes that provide protection from electric fields. This helps to reduce the inductive interference as well as the capacitive coupling.

Improved signal routing helps to speed up the overall module as the wire traces on the PCB are more efficiently routed so as to minimize the capacitive and resistive nature of these interconnects as well as find the minimum distance for critical signals. Moreover, special care is taken in the placement and routing of rapidly switching lines to minimize the effect of noise and interference on nearby lines.

These improved features not only allow more stable operation, but also allow the module to run at a higher frequency than the modules based on ULN PCBs since there is less noise and interference at the same switching speed.

Memory makers have managed to increase speeds of conventional double data rate memory to astonishing 550MHz, even above 533MHz specified for the second fastest DDR-II speed bin. The cost of DDR modules at speeds beyond 500MHz is probably pretty high, therefore, to normalize the costs of modules designed for similar speeds and probably to allow further overclocking of DDR-II memory, manufacturers of RAM modules should develop new PCBs for their products to address serious noise and interference problems.