NewsMicron Advances LPDDR5X Memory Technology with LPCAMM2 Modules

Micron Advances LPDDR5X Memory Technology with LPCAMM2 Modules

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A Brief History of LPDDR Memory

LPDDR memory, initially recognized as mobile DRAM, was conceived in the late 2000s with a primary focus on smartphones. This innovative technology was designed specifically for low power consumption and point-to-point connectivity. The rapid evolution of handsets necessitated a swift development of LPDDR, leading to the creation of LPDDR5X, a memory that surpasses commodity DDR5 SDRAM in terms of data transfer rate.

However, to cater to applications beyond the realm of smartphones, tablets, and laptops, LPDDR5X required a modular design. This requirement led to the development of Micron’s low-power compression attached memory modules (LPCAMM2), according to Praveen Vaidyanathan, GM of the compute products group at Micron.

The Features of Micron’s LPCAMM2 Modules

Micron’s LPCAMM2 modules align with a subset of JEDEC’s CAMM2 specification. The primary function of these modules is to address applications that demand a combination of low power consumption and high performance. Based on LPDDR5X memory, LPCAMM2 offers numerous benefits over standard DDR5 SODIMMs used for desktops and laptops. These advantages include a data transfer rate of up to 9,600-MT/s, a 50% higher peak bandwidth over a 128-bit interface, and significant reductions in active and standby power. Additionally, the physical footprint for the same capacity is 64% smaller, and there’s a simplified routing complexity and a unified printed-circuit-board design for all module capacities.

Benefits of LPCAMM2 over Soldered-Down LPDDR5X

LPCAMM2 also provides several benefits over soldered-down LPDDR5X memory stacks. These benefits include easy factory configurability, serviceability or repairability of actual devices, and end-user upgradeability. The modularity of LPCAMM2 is expected to drive LPDDR5X adoption to other sections of the market, such as commercial and enterprise IT.

Initial Offering and Future Plans

Initially, Micron plans to offer LPCAMM2 modules in 16-GB, 32-GB and 64-GB capacities, supporting data transfer rates of up to 8,533 MT/s. This is a significant improvement compared to a 6,400-MT/s data transfer rate of DDR5-based SODIMMs. Even though DDR5 has tighter latencies, the considerably higher transfer rates of LPDDR5X offset performance penalties introduced by higher timings in real-world applications.

Due to its design, the LPCAMM2 connector allows close placement to the CPU, ensuring high speeds and minimal latencies. Each LPCAMM2 module carries four memory packages that can stack up to eight memory devices, a PMIC with power supply circuitry and an SPD, and boasts a 128-bit interface.

LPCAMM2 in the Market

Micron envisages that LPCAMM2 could be used not only for client applications but also for data center devices, gaming PCs, embedded systems, the internet of things and networking solutions. The first systems with LPCAMM2 are expected to ship in the second half of this year, and adoption could accelerate next year if PC makers are willing to redesign their platforms for the new form factor.

While Micron is currently the only company to announce LPCAMM2 devices, it anticipates other suppliers of memory modules to follow suit, given that LPCAMM2 is an industry standard. Despite the benefits of LPCAMM2, it is expected to coexist with SODIMMs for years to come due to the latter’s benefits such as higher capacity and developed infrastructure.

Finally, it is worth noting that while changes might be necessary for LPDDR6-based LPCAMM2s to support this type of memory, the fundamental nature of the CAMM form factor is expected to remain unchanged.

Michal Pukala
Electronics and Telecommunications engineer with Electro-energetics Master degree graduation. Lightning designer experienced engineer. Currently working in IT industry.