At Intel Innovation 2022, SK hynix showed off a number of new DDR5 modules. The company had client DDR5 in standard DIMM and SODIMM form factors. Next to that was a set of server memory. This memory showed a trend that many are unaware of, DDR5 server memory is going to come in non-binary capacities.
SK hynix DDR5 at Intel Innovation 2022
A bit of background here. In memory, for years, we have seen capacities grow along powers of two in what folks at the show were calling “binary” capacities:
Many of our readers will remember sub-1GB capacities, but at some point, you have to put boundaries on a list.
That brings us to the modules at the show. Here we can see 32GB DDR5 RDIMMs as well as 64GB, but there is a new capacity: 48GB. This is a new capacity.
Also, one will see that there are no 8GB and 16GB modules being shown at the show. We may see them, but we were told that 32GB is going to be the new starting mainstream capacity. This is a normal transition that happens from time to time.
Looking at larger capacities, we see a similar incursion of new capacities. Here we can see 96GB RDIMMs as well.
The 96GB RDIMMs are also making an appearance with a capacity between 64GB and 128GB. We have heard there may be 192GB modules coming out from vendors in the future.
One other interesting note here is that the speeds shown are DDR5-5600 and DDR5-6400. Even with 8 memory channels, there is going to be a lot more memory bandwidth available in the next generation of server CPUs.
These capacities may not make sense at first, but one has to look at a few factors. First, the DDR5 pricing is much higher than DDR4 at this point, so having breaks between capacity points.
For those wondering if this is a SK hynix-only capacity, it is not. Micron and Samsung said they have 48GB and 96GB DDR5 RDIMMs even if they were not displayed at the show.
What is clear is that new server RDIMM memory capacities are going to diverge from a long history of only scaling in powers of two.