JEDEC has begun work on a suitable replacement for the SO-DIMM memory standard in the form of a CAMM for laptops introduced by Dell.
Goodbye SO-DIMM, Hello CAMM: A New Memory Standard to Make Notebooks More Agile and Efficient
Last year during CES (2022), Dell unveiled a brand new memory technology known as CAMM. The new standard, also known as a pressure-attached memory module, was designed by engineers at Dell to make laptops thinner without sacrificing performance. Another aspect of CAMMs is that they help make them more accessible for field memory repairs.
Now a year later, it appears that JEDEC plans to adopt the CAMM standard as its next memory specification, replacing the current SO-DIMM standard that has been around for decades. The new CAMM standard has been widely adopted so far, but according to Tom Schnell (JEDEC panel member and chief engineer at Dell), the acceptance rate for CAMM as the next laptop memory standard has been very positive with 20 companies to begin with. vote.
“We have unanimous approval for Spec 0.5,” Schnell told PCWorld. Schnell said JEDEC is targeting the second half of 2023 to finalize specification 1.0, with CAMM-based systems being retired by next year.
“Dell is a huge company, and we don’t keep the lights on because we get patent royalties,” he said. “We basically want to recoup the cost of inventing and implementing it.”
“We’re part of the PC industry and the PC industry is built on an ecosystem of partners and suppliers that all feed on,” Schnell said. “Yes, Dell brings great innovations of our own into our systems, but we’re also integrating a lot of innovation from a lot of people.”
Besides making laptops slimmer, the CAMM system will allow for faster speeds as well and that will be very useful as SO-DIMMs are hitting the wall of DDR5-6400 soon. However, we can’t say how many laptops will be released in a year that support the new standard. Even if CAMM is not fully adopted during the DDR5 lifecycle, DDR6 and LPDDR6 are the eventual future of the new standard but again, it will be some time before we can see those in action. To integrate CAMM, vendors will have to redesign motherboards, secure necessary parts, and require the factories that assemble those parts to start from scratch, and this won’t be an overnight process.
The entire CAMM module is a separate unit that features multiple memory dies on its PCB. This PCB is attached to the main board using a CAMM push-in connector which is bolted together with the top and bottom support plates. The same CAMM board can be used to house SODIMM connectors for more standard memory methods. These PCBs will come in various sizes, starting with just 16GB DDR5 and going all the way up to 128GB DDR5. Each CAMM will also feature a PMIC (Programmable Memory IC) onboard PCB.
Dell CAMM Memory Solution Screenshots:
According to Dell, the CAMM is 57% thinner than a conventional SODIMM and holds up to 128GB of memory on one side (once higher densities are available. As for adoption, Dell has clearly stated that this is not a proprietary standard and they want to adopt the CAMM from Before other PC makers of the future, too.