Samsung Develops Industry’s First HKMG-Based DDR5 Memory; Ideal for Bandwidth-Intensive Advanced Computing Applications

512GB capacity DDR5 module made possible by an 8‑layer TSV structure
HKMG material reduces power by 13 percent while doubling the speed of DDR4

Sam­sung Elec­tro­nics, the world lea­der in advan­ced memo­ry tech­no­lo­gy, today announ­ced that it has expan­ded its DDR5 DRAM memo­ry port­fo­lio with the industry’s first 512GB DDR5 modu­le based on High‑K Metal Gate (HKMG) pro­cess tech­no­lo­gy. Deli­vering more than twice the per­for­mance of DDR4 at up to 7,200 mega­bits per second (Mbps), the new DDR5 will be capa­ble of orches­tra­ting the most extre­me com­pu­te-hungry, high-band­width workloads in super­com­pu­ting, arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence (AI) and machi­ne lear­ning (ML), as well as data ana­ly­tics applications.


Sam­sung is the only semi­con­duc­tor com­pa­ny with logic and memo­ry capa­bi­li­ties and the exper­ti­se to incor­po­ra­te HKMG cut­ting-edge logic tech­no­lo­gy into memo­ry pro­duct deve­lo­p­ment,” said Young-Soo Sohn, Vice Pre­si­dent of the DRAM Memo­ry Planning/Enabling Group at Sam­sung Elec­tro­nics. “By brin­ging this type of pro­cess inno­va­ti­on to DRAM manu­fac­tu­ring, we are able to offer our cus­to­mers high-per­for­mance, yet ener­gy-effi­ci­ent memo­ry solu­ti­ons to power the com­pu­ters nee­ded for medi­cal rese­arch, finan­cial mar­kets, auto­no­mous dri­ving, smart cities and beyond.”


As the amount of data to be moved, stored and pro­ces­sed incre­a­ses expo­nen­ti­al­ly, the tran­si­ti­on to DDR5 comes at a cri­ti­cal inflec­tion point for cloud dat­a­cen­ters, net­works and edge deploy­ments,” said Caro­lyn Duran, Vice Pre­si­dent and GM of Memo­ry and IO Tech­no­lo­gy at Intel. “Intel’s engi­nee­ring teams clo­se­ly part­ner with memo­ry lea­ders like Sam­sung to deli­ver fast, power-effi­ci­ent DDR5 memo­ry that is per­for­mance-opti­mi­zed and com­pa­ti­ble with our upco­m­ing Intel Xeon Scala­b­le pro­ces­sors, code-named Sap­phi­re Rapids.”


Samsung’s DDR5 will uti­li­ze high­ly advan­ced HKMG tech­no­lo­gy that has been tra­di­tio­nal­ly used in logic semi­con­duc­tors. With con­ti­nued sca­ling down of DRAM struc­tures, the insu­la­ti­on lay­er has thin­ned, lea­ding to a hig­her leaka­ge cur­rent. By repla­cing the insu­la­tor with HKMG mate­ri­al, Samsung’s DDR5 will be able to redu­ce the leaka­ge and reach new heights in per­for­mance. This new memo­ry will also use appro­xi­mate­ly 13% less power, making it espe­cial­ly sui­ta­ble for dat­a­cen­ters whe­re ener­gy effi­ci­en­cy is beco­m­ing incre­a­singly critical.


The HKMG pro­cess was adop­ted in Samsung’s GDDR6 memo­ry in 2018 for the first time in the indus­try. By expan­ding its use in DDR5, Sam­sung is fur­ther soli­di­fy­ing its lea­ders­hip in next-genera­ti­on DRAM technology.


Lever­aging through-sili­con via (TSV) tech­no­lo­gy, Samsung’s DDR5 stacks eight lay­ers of 16Gb DRAM chips to offer the lar­gest capa­ci­ty of 512GB. TSV was first uti­li­zed in DRAM in 2014 when Sam­sung intro­du­ced ser­ver modu­les with capa­ci­ties up to 256GB.


Sam­sung is cur­r­ent­ly sam­pling dif­fe­rent varia­ti­ons of its DDR5 memo­ry pro­duct fami­ly to cus­to­mers for veri­fi­ca­ti­on and, ulti­mate­ly, cer­ti­fi­ca­ti­on with their lea­ding-edge pro­ducts to acce­le­ra­te AI/ML, exas­ca­le com­pu­ting, ana­ly­tics, net­wor­king, and other data-inten­si­ve workloads.

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