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Samsung announces industry first HKMG-based 512GB DDR5 memory

The memory market is heating up this year with companies like SK Hynix, TeamGroup and Adata all unveiling upcoming DDR5 memory modules for release later this year. Now, Samsung is joining the club, announcing the industry's first 512GB DDR5 module. 

Samsung has announced the first HKMG-based DDR5 memory, aimed at bandwidth intensive and advanced computing applications. Using High-K Metal Gate (HKMG) process technology, Samsung's DDR5 memory is able to deliver twice the performance of DDR4 at up to 7,200 megabits per second.

Traditionally, HKMG technology has been used in logic semiconductors. However, as Samsung explains, due to the continued scaling down of DRAM structures, the insulation layer has thinned, which leads to higher leakage current. Samsung is replacing the insulator with HKMG material, allowing Samsung's DDR5 memory to reduce leakage and improve performance considerably. Power usage has also been reduced by 13 percent over DDR4.

Samsung's DDR5 memory also uses through-silicon via (TSV) technology, allowing eight layers of 16Gb DRAM chips to be stacked, boosting capacity to a whopping 512GB in one module. This is something Samsung has been working towards for a long time, as the company first introduced HKMG tech in its GDDR6 memory modules in 2018 and first began using TSV technology in DRAM modules in 2014.

As you would expect, Samsung has been closely working with Intel while developing its DDR5 memory solution. Currently, Intel's Alder Lake platform is expected to be the first to support DDR5 memory. Currently, Intel Alder Lake and the first consumer DDR5 memory modules are expected to launch in late 2021.

KitGuru Says: Samsung maintained a leadership position in the memory market over the DDR4 generation and so far, it looks like that will continue as we move towards DDR5. Are you expecting significant performance and efficiency gains from the next generation of memory? 

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