Single chip DIMM is close to becoming reality

xfd 1 Single chip DIMM is close to becoming reality

Things just got really interesting in the memory market space, as Invensas Corporation, a subsidiary of Tessera Technologies have come up with a way to shove as much memory as that fitted to a SO-DIMM into a single chip. The technology is known as xFD or multi-die face-down packaging and it'll be demonstrated at IDF San Francisco next week.

Things just got really interesting in the memory market space, as Invensas Corporation, a subsidiary of Tessera Technologies have come up with a way to shove as much memory as that fitted to a SO-DIMM into a single chip. The technology is known as xFD or multi-die face-down packaging and it'll be demonstrated at IDF San Francisco next week.

The xFD packaging is interesting in more ways than one, as although it's currently used to stack several DRAM wirebond dies into a single BGA package, it's possible that we could see other types of memory put into xFD packaging as well. Invensas claims that its xFD packaging can not only save 25 to 35 percent space in vertical height, but it can also improve electrical performance by 50 to 70 percent in speed-bin yield and provide a 20 to 30 percent heat transfer advantage of standard dual-die packages.

xfd 2 Single chip DIMM is close to becoming reality

Now as you might've gathered by now, xFD isn't necessarily going to bring cheaper memory, even though Invensas claims that it's cheaper to manufacture if you consider the memory density improvement. xFD will be available in either DFD (Dual Face Down) or QFD (Quad Face Down) which as the name suggests puts two or four DRAM dies inside a single chip. The xFD packaging supports x4, x8 and x16 data bus width, although the chip size will of course get bigger with larger chip sizes. The DFD packages will measures 11.5×11.5mm or alternatively 11.5x14mm while the QFD packages will measures 16.2×16.2mm.

Invensas claim to have tested and validated its xFD packaging at speeds of up to 2133MHz and although the company is currently targeting the server and datacentre market space, we can see this technology trickle down in consumer related products in the not too distant future and the company is mentioning mobile computing as one of its target markets beyond servers. If it proves to be cheaper to manufacture than traditional memory packaging technology while delivering on the performance claims, we might soon be back to the days of single rank DIMMs (memory chips on only one side). The DRAM business isn't exactly making a lot of money these days and a solution like this might very well be able to reduce the cost of a single DIMM by a significant amount, simply by allowing for a component cut.

xfd 1 Single chip DIMM is close to becoming reality

That said, for now the technology will most likely be used to double or quadruple the memory size on server level DIMMs, which should not only help boost the amount of memory you can put in a server, but hopefully also allow to reduce the overall total memory cost by reducing the total DIMM count in many a server. So good news all around then? Well, we'll have to wait and see how popular Invensas xFD packaging technology turns out, but in theory we could see products in the future where only a chip or two make up an entire DIMM, quite a change from how things are today.

Source: Invensas

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