Microchip Introduces New CXL Smart Memory Controllers for Data Center Computing

05 August 2022

Microchip Technology Inc. announces the expansion of its lineup of serial-attached memory controllers with the new SMC 2000 series of Compute Express Link (CXL)-based smart memory controllers that enable CPUs, GPUs, and SoCs to use CXL interfaces to connect either DDR4 or DDR5 memory.

The ongoing computational requirements for workloads of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), cloud computing, and data analytics deployed on traditional parallel connected memory have reached a level of efficiency, due to the limitations of scaling memory channels on the processor.

Microchip provides more memory bandwidth per core and more memory capacity per core, and lowers total total cost of ownership in the data center by allowing modern CPUs to optimize application workloads.

The low-latency SMC 2000 16x32G and SMC 2000 8x32G memory controllers are built to the CXL 1.1 and CXL 2.0 specifications, DDR4 and DDR5 JEDEC standards, and support PCIe 5.0 specification speeds. The SMC 2000 16x32G is the industry’s highest capacity 16-thread controller operating at 32 GT/s and supporting two channels of DDR4-3200 or DDR5-4800, significantly reducing the required number of host CPU or SoC pins per channel memory.

Typical CXL memory attached modules contain 512 GB of memory or more, providing an effective mechanism for increasing the memory bandwidth available to core processors. This new paradigm shift provides data center operators the ability to deploy a wider range of memory-to-CPU core ratios depending on the needs of actual applications, improving memory usage and reducing total cost of ownership (TCO).

“Microchip is excited to bring the first CXL-based serial memory controller to market,” said Pete Hazen, Vice President of Microchip’s Data Center Solutions Business Unit.

“We identified CXL as a disruptive technology early on and it was an integral part of defining the standard. Microchip’s continued presence in the memory infrastructure market underscores our commitment to improving performance and efficiency for a wide range of SoC applications to support the increasing memory demands of high-performance data center applications.”

“The CXL Consortium was founded with a vision to deliver an open standard to the industry that will accelerate the performance of next-generation data centers,” said Siamak Tavali, President of the CXL Consortium.

“We are pleased to see Microchip, a valued contributor to the CXL Consortium, deliver a CXL solution that enables a new heterogeneous high-performance computing ecosystem.”

Microchip SMC 2000 CXL-based memory controllers use an innovative design that delivers Reliability, Availability, and Serviceability (RAS) features to transform solutions to the next level of efficiency and performance.

With a CXL connection, the SMC 2000 external memory controller allows the CPU or SoC to use a wide range of media types at different cost, power, and performance scales without having to integrate a unique memory controller for each different type. For example, using an SMC 2000 controller with DDR-4 memory, only advanced DDR5-enabled CPUs can now reuse DDR-4 memory expansion.

Double signature authentication and trusted platform support, secure patching, and secure firmware update ensure that the SMC 2000 CXL-based console family also meets all of the critical storage and security needs of enterprise applications.

Data center application workloads require future memory products that can deliver the same high-performance, low-latency, and reliable memory products that are based on current DDR.

One of the biggest industrial upheavals in recent years, the CXL platform brings to market a new standard serial interface for CPUs to expand memory beyond the parallel DDR interface to deliver the next level of efficiency and performance for the data center.

development tools
To support our customers in building industry-leading CXL compliant systems, the SMC 2000 comes with Built in Warranties and the ChipLink Diagnostic Tool that provides comprehensive patching, diagnostics, configuration and analysis tools using an intuitive graphical user interface.

Pricing and availability
SMC 2000 16x32G will do sampling for customer selection in Q3CY22. For additional information, click here. To order samples, contact a Microchip sales representative.

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