Your motherboard does not support Samsung’s new 512GB RAM modules

Samsung is laying the groundwork for servers to include tens of terabytes of system memory with a world first: a 512GB PCIe 5.0 DRAM module. This is what the Compute Express Link (CXL) memory module is designed for and allows large amounts of memory to be hogged into a system by operating over PCIe 5.0 instead of a standard memory slot.

This is the first memory device that supports PCIe 5.0 interface for enterprise data center and server use. The South Korean hardware giant is certainly preparing us for the future of big data.

This isn’t the first period of the CXL memory module, but it offers four times the memory capacity and one-fifth the latency compared to the previous generation.

The CXL memory interface allows for better memory capacity scaling, allowing multiple modules to be used together to go beyond the “tens of terabytes” range, which is not possible with traditional DDR. In addition to expanding memory capacity, CXL also increases bandwidth to several terabytes per second.

If you were thinking of shoving one of these bad boys into your gaming rig’s motherboard: sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but this DRAM is strictly for enterprise servers and high-capacity data centers.

In a press release, Samsung says the “growth of the metaverse, AI and big data” was attributed to the growing need for better and faster memory solutions. Samsung is part of a CXL Consortium designed to standardize CXL memory across the industry, similar to how the UCIe Consortium spreads the word about the Universal Chiplet Interconnect Express die-to-die interconnect standard, which would reduce costs and lead to some innovative new processor packages with great performance potential.

Samsung will ship its first batch of 512GB CXL DRAM to customers and partners later this year for what they call a “joint evaluation and testing.” Samsung plans to update its SMDK, a toolkit that will allow users to integrate CXL memory into their existing systems without modifying existing application environments, later this month. Trust me: somewhere your IT guy is doing a somersault.

Cheolmin Park, vice president of memory at Samsung, says CXL DRAM will become a “critical turning point for future computing frameworks, substantially advancing artificial intelligence and big data services.”

And who knows, maybe one day we’ll all end up putting chunky CXL memory modules next to our graphics card in a future PCIe slot.

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