Thursday, February 2, 2023

CAMM standard set to replace SO-DIMM for laptop memory

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Something to look forward to: CAMM is one step closer to replacing the longstanding SO-DIMM memory module standard in laptops. JEDEC, the trade organization and standardization body that oversees memory standards for the computer industry, is in the process of adopting the CAMM Common Spec for laptops according to committee member Tom Schnell.

CAMM, which stands for Compression Attached Memory Module, was created by Schnell and introduced by Dell last year in its Precision 7670 workstation laptop. Schnell, who is also a Dell Senior Distinguished Engineer, told PCWorld that JEDEC has unanimously approved the 0.5 spec and is on target finalize the 1.0 spec by the second half of this year.

Schnell could not reveal which JEDEC member companies voted on the standard as that is up to each member to reveal, but the voting group covers a range of players with multiple interests. Surprisingly enough, all unanimously voted for the spec with no dissenters. As of writing, there are over 350 member companies that participate in JEDEC but only a small handful of 20 or so companies were among the voting group that approved the 0.5 spec.

SO-DIMM is not long for this world, and CAMM looks to be a way forward. Dell’s design reduced the physical distance between the memory and the CPU, and the memory and connection plate was also much thinner. The final spec will not be a carbon copy of Dell’s design but will be based on it as companies hammer out the final details.

Some where initially concerned that Dell would keep the tech to itself and force customers wishing to upgrade down the road to go directly through them and pay a high fee (or worse, the tech would be abandoned with no upgrade path at all). Dell and Schnell were quick to point out that CAMM is not a proprietary spec that would lock customers into a design.

“Dell is a huge company, we don’t keep the lights on because we get royalties for a patent,” Schnell said. “We basically want to recover the cost of inventing it, and implementing it.”

Should everything go according to plan, CAMM-based systems could arrive as early as 2024.

Numisteamone

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