Micron launches CZ120 memory expansion module

Micron has announced the launch of the CZ120 memory expansion module, providing relevant samples to its partners and customers. Crafted in adherence to the Compute Express Link (CXL) 2.0 Type 3 standard, it is available in capacities of 128GB and 256GB. The module employs a PCIe 5.0 x8 interface and conforms to the E3.S 2T specification. Internally, it features Microchip’s SMC 2000 microcontroller and the DRAM chips utilized are produced using the 1α process node.

The CZ120 memory expansion module furnishes a bandwidth of up to 36GB/s, only slightly lagging behind the conventional DDR5-4800 RDIMM of the same capacity (bandwidth of 38.4GB/s). Currently, AMD’s fourth-generation EPYC server processor (codenamed Genoa) supports a 12-channel DDR5-4800 memory subsystem, offering a bandwidth of up to 460.8GB/s, while Intel’s fourth-generation Xeon server processor (codenamed Sapphire Rapids) supports an 8-channel DDR5-4800 memory subsystem, providing a bandwidth of up to 307.2GB/s. Under normal circumstances, these processors possess adequate bandwidth. However, certain workloads necessitate greater memory capacity and higher bandwidth, such as database software; this is where the CZ120 memory expansion module can be of significance.

According to Micron, the addition of four 256GB CZ120 memory expansion modules to a system equipped with twelve 64GB DDR5 memory units can enhance the server processor’s memory read/write bandwidth by 24%. Moreover, the augmented memory capacity enables it to process 96% more database queries per day.

Micron has stated that it has been consistently using Intel and AMD platforms for the development and testing of the CZ120 memory expansion module. Through product innovation and collaboration within the CXL ecosystem, the company aims to expedite the acceptance of new standards to satisfy the incessantly growing demands of data centers and their memory-intensive workloads. Micron has not yet divulged the specific pricing or shipment plans for the CZ120 memory expansion module. It is estimated that these details will be available once verification and certification are complete, likely waiting until 2024.