Samsung's CXL memory packs 4x the capacity over the previous version, enabling a server to scale to tens of terabytes with only one-fifth of the system latency.
Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd has developed the industry’s first 512GB Compute Express Link (CXL) DRAM, taking an important step toward the commercialization of CXL which will enable extremely high memory capacity with low latency in IT systems.
Since introducing the industry’s first CXL DRAM prototype with a field-programmable gate array (FPGA) controller in May 2021, Samsung has been working closely with data center, enterprise server and chipset companies to develop an improved, customizable CXL device.
The new CXL DRAM is built with an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) CXL controller and is the first to pack 512GB of DDR5 DRAM, featuring four times the memory capacity and one-fifth the system latency over the previous Samsung CXL offering.
“CXL DRAM will become a critical turning point for future computing structures by substantially advancing artificial intelligence (AI) and big data services, as we aggressively expand its usage in next-generation memory architectures including software-defined memory (SDM),” said Cheolmin Park, vice president of Memory Global Sales & Marketing at Samsung Electronics, and Director of the CXL Consortium. “Samsung will continue to collaborate across the industry to develop and standardize CXL memory solutions, while fostering an increasingly solid ecosystem.”
“As an active member of the CXL Consortium, Lenovo is committed to developing this important standard and helping build the ecosystem around the new CXL interconnect,” said Greg Huff, Chief Technology Officer, Lenovo Infrastructure Solutions Group. “We are excited to be part of Samsung’s CXL development program, working to foster the growth and adoption of innovative CXL products in future Lenovo systems.”
“CXL is a key technology that enables more innovative ways to manage memory expansion and pooling which will play an important role in next-generation server platforms,” said Christopher Cox, vice president of Strategic Technology at Montage Technology. “Montage is excited to continue partnering with Samsung to help the CXL ecosystem expand rapidly.”
In recent years, the growth of the metaverse, AI and big data has been generating explosive amounts of data. However, conventional DDR design limits the scaling of memory capacity beyond the tens of terabyte range, requiring an entirely new memory interface technology like CXL.
The large pool of memory that is shared between CXL and main memory allows a server to expand its memory capacity to tens of terabytes, and at the same time increase its bandwidth to several terabytes per second.
Samsung’s 512GB CXL DRAM will be the first memory device that supports the PCIe 5.0 interface and will come in an EDSFF (E3.S) form factor ― especially suitable for next-generation high-capacity enterprise servers and data centers.
Later this month, Samsung plans to unveil an updated version of its open-source Scalable Memory Development Kit (SMDK). The toolkit is a comprehensive software package that allows the CXL memory expander to work seamlessly in heterogeneous memory systems — enabling system developers to incorporate CXL memory into various IT systems running AI, big data and cloud applications, without having to modify existing application environments.
Samsung will begin sampling its 512GB CXL DRAM with customers and partners for joint evaluation and testing in the third quarter of this year, and plans to have the memory ready for commercialization as next-generation server platforms become available. As a member of the CXL Consortium Board of Directors, Samsung is openly collaborating with many global data center, server and chipset vendors to deliver next-generation interface technologies that can bring highly tangible benefits to the IT industry.