Micron's LRDIMM Redefines Server Memory Modules

You've heard of memory, and you've heard of RAM. Heck, you may even know a thing or two about DIMMs. But have you any knowledge whatsoever on LRDIMMs? Those very modules are being unveiled today courtesy of Micron Technology, which has introduced the industry’s first DDR3 load-reduced, dual-inline memory module (LRDIMM). In short, these reduce the load on he server memory bus, thereby providing the option to support higher data frequencies and significantly increase memory capacity.

If you're looking for the "wow-factor," here goes: the server memory module triples memory capacity and increases performance by 57%. We're not sure about you, but 57% sure sounds significant to us. The new LRDIMMs will be manufactured using Micron's 1.35-volt, 2-gigabit (Gb) 50-nanometer DDR3 memory chip, which is currently in qualification with customers and is ramping toward high volume production. Needless to say, Micron's hoping to take advantage of the gravitation towards more RAM in servers, and by using Inphi’s recently announced isolation memory buffer (iMB) chip in place of a register, they can reduce loads by 50% for a dual-rank module and 75% for a quad-rank module (compared to today’s standard DDR3 server modules, registered DIMMs).

Robert Feurle, vice president of DRAM marketing at Micron, broke things down as such:

"With the rise in virtualization, our new 16GB modules allow customers to easily expand their memory capacity. While traditional RDIMMs limit the amount of memory that can be accommodated due to their loading profile, LRDIMMs eliminate that problem by reducing the module load. And because our LRDIMMs are designed using Micron’s new low-power 2Gb-based 50nm DDR3 chips, which reduces module chip count, we are providing customers with a more cost-effective and efficient means to scale server memory capacity and performance, while also reducing the power levels."

Micron is currently sampling an 8GB LRDIMM with select enablers. Mass production of its 16GB LRDIMMs is expected to begin in 2010.