Samsung slashes power draw with 3D server RAM

Samsung has announced the latest product in its 'Green Memory' line, a 32GB RDIMM designed for server systems which drops the power draw by around 30 per cent when compared with normal memory modules.

The 32GB DDR3 registered DIMMs, built on a 30nm production process, are designed to be drop-in replacements for the company's load-reduced memory modules and draw a mere 4.5 watt-hours every hour, a reduction of 30 per cent compared to the modules they replace.

While that reduction might not sound like much, Samsung's vision is to see its new memory modules used in data centres, server farms, and supercomputing applications where many hundreds of modules are crammed into systems to feed the ever-increasing demand for more system memory.

A data centre using four modules per server with eighty servers, for example, would see a reduction in overall power draw of 640 watt-hours each hour, meaning substantial savings over the course of a year.

Samsung claims that the impressive power savings come from the use of TSV - Through-Silicon Via - technology to build three dimensional stacked chips that function at levels comparable to a single silicon chip by shortening the signal lines significantly. As well as lowered power consumption, TSV enables higher density and faster performance.

As a result, the company's TSV equipped modules run at a maximum data rate of 1,333MT/s, compared to the previous generation's more sedate 800MT/s, despite the lowered power draw.

"These 32GB RDIMMs fully support the high-density and high-performance requirements of next-generation high-capacity servers," crowed Samsung's EVP of memory Wanhoon Hong at the launch of the modules. "We will keep providing memory solutions with higher performance and density, while enhancing shared value in the design of ever-greener server systems."

The company has promised to keep developing TSV-based memory modules as it works to drop down to a 20nm process size, a move which will enable even higher densities and greater performance.