SMART Modular releases 96GB Gen-Z Memory Module with high bandwidth, low latency interconnect protocol for handling big data

SMART Modular Technologies Inc., a subsidiary of SMART Global Holdings, announced this week its Gen-Z Memory Module (ZMM) that conforms to the SSF-8201 form factor specification which SMART helped standardize through the Gen-Z Consortium. SMART’s ZMM supports the Gen-Z interconnect standard which was developed to enable new solution architectures for delivering high levels of performance (high-bandwidth, low-latency), software efficiency, and power optimizations.

Gen-Z is an open systems interconnect designed to provide memory semantic access to data and devices via direct-attached, switched or fabric topologies. The Gen-Z Consortium is made up of leading computer industry companies dedicated to creating and commercializing a new data access technology. The Consortium’s 12 initial members were; AMD, ARM, Broadcom, Cray, Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Huawei, IDT, Micron, Samsung, SK Hynix, and Xilinx with that list expanding as reflected on our Member List.

The Gen-Z Consortium strongly believes in developing an open ecosystem where members, the broader industry and customers can work together to deliver high-quality specifications that meet solution needs. The Gen-Z Consortium will periodically publicly post draft specifications and technical concepts to elicit input from the broader industry and directly from customers.

SMART’s ZMM uses a new scalable computing interconnect protocol with high bandwidth and low latency that provides a simplified interface based on memory semantics. It operates at data rates up to 40GB/s and with less than 400ns load-to-use memory capacity of 96GB of DRAM.

The Gen-Z protocol is designed to handle advanced workloads, enabling data centric computing with scalable memory pools and resources for real-time analytics and in-memory applications.

SMART is partnering with IntelliProp, vendor of Intellectual Property (IP) Cores and semiconductors for Data Storage and Memory applications, to develop and bring to market Gen-Z IP and ASIC solutions. IntelliProp’s application-specific standard product (ASSP) is a fabric memory controller code-named Mamba that supports the Gen-Z interconnect protocol and provides connectivity to DRAM devices.

The Mamba fabric memory controller further supports byte addressability to DRAM devices. Since Mamba is attached to the Gen-Z fabric vs. the DDR4 memory bus, 2.5-inch, U.2 and AIC form factors are available to achieve connectivity between a multitude of CPU or SoC hosts. The Mamba controller supports up to 384GB of DRAM.

According to analysts at IDC, in a white paper written in March 2017, total worldwide data is expected to reach 163ZB by 2025, ten times greater than the amount of data generated. As a result, “real-time” data analysis will become even more critical for OEMs. The Gen-Z interconnect standard solves the bandwidth and latency bottlenecks associated with existing computer architectures allowing for more advanced topologies including multi-CPU shared composable memory architectures.

SMART’s ZMM showcases how the Gen-Z standard is designed to handle advance workloads, enabling data centric computing with scalable memory pools and resources for real-time analytics and in-memory applications. OEMs with plans to launch Gen-Z-enabled high-performance computing systems can use SMART’s media storage controller card as a storage device in Gen-Z fabrics.


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