Ely Tsern, VP and chief technologist for the Rambus Memory and Interfaces division, recently sat down with Nicole Hemsoth of The Platform to discuss the launch of the company’s server memory interface chipset.
“Memory today, broadly speaking, not just DRAM, is unlike previous years getting interesting. DRAM is the incumbent and there are all these other dynamics influencing memory close to the processor,” Tsern told the publication.
“There are people putting flash close to the processor not just for storage, the 3D XPoint announcement will get a lot of momentum. But we look at it as DRAM is still driving a lot of the volume. We want to establish with that volume with the incumbent—and that is making DRAM as fast as possible.”
As Tsern notes, Rambus chose to move into the chip market and the server datacenter space because it is dynamic from a hardware platform perspective. Plus, in two to three years, says Tsern, most of the market will be at DDR4.
“So there’s a timing aspect to this we see, but also, DDR4 is very tough technically. It’s not like previous generations of DRAM. This is what we do, signal integrity and the way the channel electrically runs is really putting us against a wall electrically,” he explained. “It’s hard to get the speeds up there on DDR4 and while Intel is driving the speed to bump each year with new processors and we share these challenges and it’s aligned with the sweet spot of what we do.”
In addition, the server DIMM market continues to grow at a steady cadence.
“A couple of years ago, it was maybe $100 million to $150 million a year, in about two to three years we see it growing over $400 million a year,” he continued. “It’s because DDR4 is running faster and Intel wants the server modules to use these chipsets, so there’s growth there as well as the fact that the higher capacity modules are increasing as well due to the data demands for a lot of emerging applications.”
Tsern confirmed that Rambus is collaborating closely with Intel to validate its server chips.
“We are [also] working closely with other memory manufacturers like Micron and SK Hynix to branch out. We’re sampling today with this, it’s moving forward,” he concluded. “The general goal from a performance standpoint is allowing systems to have lots of modules and capacity and run fast, no matter what memory is on the other side.”
Interested in learning more? You can check out the full text of “Rambus returns to carve path in server memory market” by Nicole Hemsoth on The Platform here and the R+ DDR4 server DIMM chipset product page here.