A Cool Solution For Server Memory Modules

server memory

Staktek, an Austin, Texas-based developer of memory technology, will have two offerings based on its new ArctiCore module technology, according to Damian Cook, vice president and general manager of Staktek’s Enterprise Business Unit. One, to be announced this month, will support DDR2 memory for Advanced Micro Device’s new server platform that is expected this summer. The other is a fully buffered DIMM (FB-DIMM) for Intel’s new Bensley platform that should hit the market in the May/June time frame.

The ArctiCore technology from Staktek starts with an aluminum heat sink at the core of the module. Memory chips are placed on each side of the heat sink. The company also devised a way to face the advanced memory buffer (AMB) on the DIMM toward the heat sink to help cool the device.

Staktek’s modules will run 4 degrees Celsius to 25 degrees Celsius cooler, depending on the server, according to Cook. “Our particular design is 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 toward smaller and more power-efficient designs.

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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 total memory capacity. Because of the way the DIMM is designed, Cook said memory manufacturers should be able to offer the DIMMs for significantly less than current prices. “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 plat-form will be available in 2 Gbyte, 4 Gbyte and 8 Gbyte configurations.

Jim Pappas, director of initiative marketing with Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel’s Digital Enterprise Group, said the designs are important for next-generation server platforms.

“The high-density memory, thinness and thermal performance of FB-DIMM modules, such as Staktek’s, provide important flexibility for system designers to minimize DIMM spacing, construct cost-efficient cooling solutions and meet quiet acoustic specifications,” he said in a statement.