Memory controllers offer higher memory bandwidth

Microchip Technology Inc. has expanded its serial-attached memory controller portfolio with the new SMC 2000 series of Compute Express Link (CXL) based smart memory controllers for data-center computing. This devices allow CPUs, GPUs, and SoCs to use CXL interfaces to connect either DDR4 or DDR5 memory.

Microchip said the CXL platform delivers “a new standard serial interface for CPUs to expand memory beyond the parallel DDR interface to provide the next level of efficiency and performance to the data center.”

Memory controllers offer higher memory bandwidth

(Source: Microchip Technology)

The SMC 2000 family delivers more memory bandwidth and more memory capacity per core, said Microchip, allowing CPUs to optimize application workloads. The higher memory bandwidth is suited for high-performance computer and AI and ML compute-intensive applications.

The low-latency SMC 2000 16×32G and SMC 2000 8×32G memory controllers meet CXL 1.1 and CXL 2.0 specifications, DDR4 and DDR5 JEDEC standards, and support PCIe 5.0 specification speeds. The SMC 2000 16×32G is claimed as the industry’s highest-capacity controller with 16 lanes operating at 32 GT/s and supports two channels of DDR4-3200 or DDR5-4800. This results in a reduction in the required number of host CPU or SoC pins per memory channel.

“Typical CXL attached memory modules include 512 GB of memory or more, providing an effective mechanism to increase the memory bandwidth available to processing cores,” said Microchip. “This new paradigm shift provides data center operators the ability to deploy a broader range of ratios for memory to CPU cores depending ON their actual application needs, resulting in improved memory utilization and lower total cost of ownership (TCO).”

The SMC 2000 external memory controller enables a CPU or SoC to use a range of media types with different cost, power, and performance metrics without having to integrate a unique memory controller for each different type, according to Microchip.  One example cited is that by “using an SMC 2000 controller with DDR-4 memory, advanced CPUs that only directly support DDR5 can now also re-use DDR-4 memory expansion.”

Security features include dual signature authentication and Trusted Platform support, secure debug, and secure firmware update.

The SMC 2000 16×32G will sample to select customers in the third quarter of 2022. The SMC 2000 includes design-in collateral and Microchip’s ChipLink diagnostic too

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