Samsung, SK Hynix working on power consumption technologies for memories in AI age

Jessica Tsai, Taipei; Jingyue Hsiao, DIGITIMES Asia 0

Credit: AFP

As memories like HBM and DDR5 become ever-important in HPC, memory makers, such as Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix, are looking for ways to reduce power consumption.

Chosun Biz reported that power consumption issues of memories in data centers have become increasingly apparent while building AI models. For example, DRAMs account for 40% of the total power consumption of a data center platform based on Nvidia A100. Therefore, memory suppliers collaborate with academia, investing in next-generation technologies to reduce power consumption. It is worth noting that with more layers stacked, the power that HBM consumes increases.

Based on Compute Express Link technology, Samsung developed 16GB DDR5 DRAM on 12nm technologies, which improved power consumption by 23% compared to the previous generation. Samsung is working with Seoul National University to reduce memory power consumption further.

SK Hynix unveiled LPDDR5X, which applies High-K Metal Gate (HKMG) process to mobile DRAMs as high-k material has permittivity that is about five times higher than that of conventional SiON insulation film, and enables the insulation film to keep five times more charge with the same area and thickness and help reduce current leakage. By controlling leakage current, SK Hynix's LPDDR5X offers a 33% increase in speed and an over 20% reduction in power usage compared to the previous generation.

Besides, South Korea-based research institutions are actively studying new technologies to improve the power intensity compared with performance. Seoul National University unveiled DRAM Translation Layer technology, which is expected to reduce the power consumption of DRAM by 31.6%.