Home Enterprise Expanded Microchip CXL Smart Memory Controller Portfolio Announced

Expanded Microchip CXL Smart Memory Controller Portfolio Announced

by Harold Fritts

Microchip Technology announced the expansion of its serial-attached memory controller portfolio with the new SMC2000 series of Compute Express Link (CXL) based Smart Memory Controllers. The new controllers enable CPUs, GPUs, and System on Chips (SoCs) to utilize CXL interfaces to connect DDR4 or DDR5 memory.

Microchip Technology announced the expansion of its serial-attached memory controller portfolio with the new SMC2000 series of Compute Express Link (CXL) based Smart Memory Controllers. The new controllers enable CPUs, GPUs, and System on Chips (SoCs) to utilize CXL interfaces to connect DDR4 or DDR5 memory.

The SMC 2000 CXL controllers are said to deliver more memory bandwidth per core, more memory capacity per core, and lower the overall TCO in the data center by allowing modern CPUs to optimize workloads and accelerate AI and ML performance.

SMC 2000 Smart Memory Controllers are designed to meet the growing memory bandwidth and capacity demands of data center workloads. The SMC 2000 16x32G  and SMC 2000 8x32G are designed to 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 a high-capacity controller with 16 lanes operating at 32 GT/s and supports two channels of DDR4-3200 or DDR5-4800, significantly reducing the required number of host CPU or SoC pins per memory channel.

Increased Memory Bandwidth

Typical CXL attached memory modules include 512GB of memory or more, providing an effective mechanism to increase the memory bandwidth available to processing cores. This new paradigm shift gives data center operators the ability to deploy a broader range of ratios for memory to CPU cores depending on actual application needs, resulting in improved memory utilization and lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

The SMC 2000 CXL-based memory controllers are designed to deliver Reliability, Availability and Serviceability (RAS) features to transform solutions to the next level of efficiency and performance. Through CXL connectivity, the SMC 2000 external memory controller enables a CPU or SoC to utilize a broad set of media types with different cost, power, and performance metrics without having to integrate a unique memory controller for each type. For example, an environment of SMC 2000 controllers with DDR-4 memory, modern advanced CPUs supporting only DDR5 can re-use the DDR-4 memory expansion.

Highlights and Benefits

  • High-performance, low-latency DRAM bandwidth and capacity expansion
  • High-reliability CXL with robust error contrainment, end-to-end data integrity protection and ECC protection on internal and external memories
  • Industry-leading security with Root of Trust (RoT), security boot, secure firmware update, secure debug, firmware encryption and attestation features

Typical applications for the SMC 2000 family include AI, ML, High-Performance Computing (HPC), and other applications that require an increased number of memory channels to deliver more memory bandwidth and capacity. Data center application workloads require future memory products that can deliver the same high-performance bandwidth, low latency and reliability of today’s parallel-DDR-based memory products. The CXL platform is one of the biggest industry disruptions in recent years, bringing to market 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.

The dual signature authentication and Trusted Platform support, secure debug and secure firmware update, ensure the SMC 2000 CXL-based controller family also meets all critical storage and enterprise application security needs.

According to Microchip’s Data Center Solutions VP Pete Hazen, Microchip had identified CXL as “a disruptive technology early on and were integral to the standard’s definition.”

Development Tools

Customers can take advantage of the included design-in collateral and Microchip’s ChipLink diagnostic tool to perform extensive debug, diagnostics, configuration, and analysis with the intuitive GUI.

Pricing and Availability

The SMC 2000 16x32G will sample to select customers in Q3CY22. For additional information, visit www.microchip.com/smart-memory-controllers. To order samples, contact a Microchip sales representative.

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