New Server Memory Technology To Run Cooler, Cost Less

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Staktek, whose memory technology is sold to OEMs, will have two offerings based on its new ArctiCore module technology, according to Damian Cook, vice president and general manager of the Austin, Texas, company’s enterprise business unit. One, to be announced this month, will support DDR2 memory for Advanced Micro Devices’ new server platform expected this summer. The other is a Fully-Buffered DIMM (FB-DIMM) for Intel's new Bensley platform that is slated to hit the market in the May/June time frame.

With Staktek’s ArctiCore technology, the core of the module has an aluminum heat sink, and around each side of the heat sink are up to 36 memory devices, Cook said. The Advanced Memory Buffer (AMB) on the DIMM faces the heat sink, helping to keep the device cooler. The AMB is one of the hottest components in the DIMM, he said. And because the ArctiCore design puts the heat sink in the middle, it also is thinner than traditional DIMMs, offering improved air circulation in the system, he added.

Staktek modules will run 4 degrees Celsius to 25 degrees Celsius cooler, depending on the server, according to Cook. "Our particular design has much better for thermals than what everyone else is doing," he said. Thermals have been a hot topic among system makers as the industry moves to smaller, more power-efficient designs.

For AMD's next platform, Staktek's module will place 36 512-Mbyte memory chips on each side, for a total of 72 memory chips or nearly 4 Gbytes of memory capacity. Because of the way the DIMM is designed, memory manufacturers should be able to offer the DIMMs for much less than current modules are priced, Cook said.

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"We don't set pricing, but I don't see any reason why manufacturers couldn't offer these for well under $1,000," he said.

Staktek's FB-DIMMs for Intel's Bensley platform will be available in 2-Gbyte, 4-Gbyte and 8-Gbyte configurations. Cook said memory OEM Smart Modular Technologies has committed to using Staktek's FB-DIMM design, and several other manufacturers are reviewing the specs.