SK hynix Inc. announced that it has developed working samples of DDR5* Multiplexer Combined Ranks (MCR) Dual In-line Memory Module, the world’s fastest server DRAM product. The new product has been confirmed to operate at the data rate of minimum 8Gbps, and at least 80% faster than the 4.8Gbps of the existing DDR5 products.
Double Data Rate (DDR), a DRAM standard mainly used for servers and client applications, has been developed up to the fifth generation. The MCR DIMM is a module product with multiple DRAM chips attached to the board and improved speed as a result of two ranks operating simultaneously. Rank: A collection of basic transfer units of the data sent to the CPU from the DRAM module. A rank typically refers to 64 bytes of data to be transferred to the central processing unit as a bundle.
MCR DIMM is an achievement coming from out-of-the-box thinking with an aim to improve the operation speed of DDR5. Challenging the prevailing concept that the operation speed of DDR5 relies on that of the DRAM chip itself, engineers sought to find a way to improve the speed of modules instead of chips for the development of the latest product.
SK hynix designed the product in a way that enables the simultaneous operation of two ranks by utilizing the data buffer* installed onto the MCR DIMM based on Intel’s MCR technology.
By enabling the simultaneous operation of two ranks, MCR DIMM allows the transmission of 128 bytes of data to the CPU at once, compared with 64 bytes fetched generally in conventional DRAM modules. An increase in the amount of data sent to the CPU each time supports the data transfer rate of minimum 8Gbps, twice as fast as a single DRAM.
Close collaboration with business partners Intel and Renesas was key to success. The three companies worked together and cooperated throughout the process from the product design to verification.
The data buffer transmits multiple signals coming from the module in the middle and the server CPU accepts and handles the signals coming through the buffer.
SK hynix expects the market for the MCR DIMM to expand driven by high-performance computing that will take advantage of the increased memory bandwidth. SK hynix is planning to bring the product to mass production in the future.