How dense can you get?

How dense can you get?

Micron Technology is billing a soon-to-be-available 16GB DRAM memory chip as the densest server-memory module on the market. Commercial availability is slated for later this year.

US-based Micron Technology, which sells to server manufacturers, says its new memory module features 72 2-gigabit double data rate 2 (DDR2) dies, which are packaged as 36, 4-gigabit TwinDie components.

Micron says its proprietary TwinDie stacking technology offers fewer and shorter connection routes to the chips, which enable faster access to data in the memory. The retention, reliability and availability of data in computer memory are of concern to enterprises with large amounts of data to process, such as banks or shopping websites.

The 16GB module offers twice the capacity of memory modules available today, says Micron’s senior manager of strategic marketing and product development, Kevin Kilbuck. "We’re ahead of the pack in terms of density."

Micron's move is seen as an "aggressive" market play by Shane Rau, a chip industry analyst at IDC. "It’s in keeping with how server makers are keeping up with demand for memory." The forecast for the average amount of memory capacity in mid-range servers shipped by the end of 2006 is 38GB, up 60 percent from an average 24GB in 2005, he says, citing IDC research.

While Micron's new module is the densest in the industry to date, Rau anticipates "it will be closely followed by other competitors”.

Micron's rivals in the memory module market include Germany’s Qimonda; Hynix Semiconductor of South Korea; and Japan’s Samsung Electronics.

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