RealTime IT News

AMD Looks Ahead to Memory Changes

Ready for 2009? You may not yet be thinking of what specs the server you buy in two years will have, but AMD is giving system makers a heads up on some of its plans.

Wednesday AMD  announced Socket G3 Memory Extender (G3MX) for a future Opteron platform. G3MX is designed to let server makers build x86-compatible systems with greater memory capacity and performance than those available today. AMD said it designed G3MX in collaboration with IDT and Inphi, who are planning to sell G3MX components as part of their portfolios of products for the memory industry.

"This is a very collaborative effort with our system partners to use industry-standard DIMMs and get the best price performance," Diane Stapley, systems strategy manger for AMD server/workstation, told internetnews.com.

Stapley said G3MX will let system makers easily double the amount of memory typically found in today's servers to 32GB and higher. The technology is aimed at the high-performance end of the server market, starting with 2P and 4P systems.

G3MX will rely on a next-generation memory standard, DDR-3, slated to succeed today's DDR2-SDRAM .

In-Stat analyst Jim McGregor thinks G3MX is a logical move for AMD.

"For AMD it's a smart move and not a stretch from today's FBDIM (Fully Buffered DIMM), just different," he said. You'll likely see both for a period of time, and the market will decide which one wins."

With the ascent of quad and even octo-core systems, McGregor agreed with Stapley that these high-end systems require more bandwidth to operate effectively.

Thomas Zacharia, associate laboratory director of Computing and Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, is bullish on the technology.

"The extended platform memory capabilities expected via AMD's upcoming G3MX memory technology should allow the use of bigger memory capacities with industry-standard DIMMs for large workloads to ultimately help advance scientific research and discovery," he said in a statement.