Samsung Electronics is mass producing the first "through silicon via" (TSV) double data rate-4 (DDR4) memory in 128-gigabyte (GB) modules, for enterprise servers and data centers. Chip stacking for larger capacities has clear benefits. However, with conventional packaging techniques that use wire bonding, chip stacks are prone to lag in speed - speed that is especially essential for enterprise servers that handle massive amounts of data. In turn, dies can only be stacked so high, further limiting the chip package capacity.
Through silicon via (TSV) is an advanced chip packaging technology that vertically connects DRAM chip dies using electrodes that penetrate the microns-thick dies through microscopic holes.
The technology marks a breakthrough from traditional wire bonding as it allows for all of the dies in a chip package to maintain their optimum performance which makes higher die stacks possible. A smaller footprint of the physical chip package is an additional bonus.
Samsung today announced its TSV DDR4 DRAM in 128GB RDIMM modules for the first time.
The 128GB TSV DDR4 RDIMM is comprised of a total of 144 DDR4 chips, arranged into 36 4GB DRAM packages, each containing four 20-nanometer (nm)-based 8-gigabit (Gb) chips assembled with TSV packaging technology.
By combining TSV technology with 8Gb DRAM die, Samsung?s new TSV DDR4 RDIMM is able to pack in 128GB, meeting the needs of today?s enterprise servers with speeds of up to 2,667 megabits per second (Mbps) and 3,200Mbps. This suggests the possibility of accelerated adoption of TSV in the market, with opportunities for expanded applications in high bandwidth memory (HBM) and consumer products in the future.
Traditional wire-bond dies are packaged together with a data buffer chip, which regulate the input/output information passing through each DRAM. Samsung?s new 128GB TSV DDR4 module embeds data buffer functions within the master chip in each chip package, producing better performance in a more energy-efficient product. Being manufactured with Samsung?s 20-nanometer process technology adds to improved energy efficiency, as well.
Samsung says that the 128GB TSV DDR4 reduces the power consumption by half when compared to the previous highest capacity DRAM modules (64GB LRDIMM).
The South Korean company plans to provide a complete lineup of its new TSV DRAM modules within the next several weeks including 128GB load reduced DIMMs (LRDIMMs).
In addition, Samsung will introduce TSV DRAM with higher performance. These will include modules with data transfer speeds of up to 2,667Mbps and 3,200Mbps that help to meet enterprise server needs, while expanding TSV applications into high bandwidth memory (HBM) and consumer products.
Samsung's share of the global DRAM market reached a record 45.2 percent in the second quarter of this year, followed by 27.3 percent of SK hynix, according to a report by market research firm IHS. Micron Technology was third with 20.4 percent.