Samsung wants to add ‘processing-in-memory’ to DDR5 and Lpddr5 memory

Samsung is working on DRAM memory for consumer PCs with an integrated chip that can perform calculation tasks on the memory, so that no CPU is needed for some tasks. Samsung is already using this in its HBM-PIM chips for server hardware.

Samsung has field-tested its HBM-PIM chips, or high bandwidth memory with processing-in-memory, in combination with a Xilinx Virtex Ultrascale+ accelerator for AI calculations. Samsung claims this delivers performance improvements of up to 2.5x and energy savings of up to 60 percent. The manufacturer expresses the intention to add near-memory processing technology, or processing-in-memory as Samsung calls it, to consumer memory.

According to Tom’s Hardware, Samsung has given more details about this on Hotchips 33 and it concerns DDR4, GDDR6 and Lpddr5x modules. Renders from Samsung also show DDR5 memory with a programmable computing unit. Samsung calls it an Axdimm, or Acceleration DIMM.

Near-memory processing is still a largely theoretical technology that is currently being researched. In fact, it adds an integrated processor to the buffer chip, which itself can perform computational tasks on the memory module. In February, Samsung announced that it was working on HBM2 with ‘integrated AI computing power’.

The idea behind the module is that certain AI calculations are done on the memory module, without the CPU being involved. As a result, less data has to be sent back and forth between the CPU and the memory module. This results in fewer bottlenecks, speeds up calculations and ensures lower energy consumption, according to Samsung. The disadvantage is that space has to be made available on the module for the chip, so that there is less memory capacity.

According to Samsung, the modules with processing-in-memory are already suitable for use in standard memory slots, but the company tells Tom’s Hardware it hopes that CPU makers will develop additional support for the technology, so that the cooperation between the memory and the processor is optimized. can become.

In February, Samsung announced the first memory with an integrated processor, the HBM2 Aquabolt. That memory is mainly intended for fast data processing in supercomputers and AI applications. Samsung also tested the processor in the Xilinx Virtex Ultrascale+ AI accelerator.

According to Samsung, tests with HBM-PIM have shown that the technique is also suitable for memory modules aimed at consumer computers and also for memory in smartphones. By the first half of 2022, Samsung hopes to standardize its processor-in-memory platform, or PIM platform, so other manufacturers can work with it as well.

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