AMD unveils G3MX technology

Written by Tim Smalley

July 26, 2007 // 4:29 p.m.

Tags: #2009 #amd #extender #g3 #g3mx #memory #opteron #shanghai #socket #socket-f #socket-g3 #technology

During a briefing with company officials yesterday, AMD announced that it has developed a new memory technology called G3 Memory Extender (G3MX) that allows for higher memory capacities in Opteron-based machines.

G3MX will use standard JEDEC certified DDR3 memory modules, meaning that it’s possible to create a cost-effective machine with lots of memory and a reasonable power budget.

I’m sure many of you are wondering why “cost-effective” and “DDR3” are in the same sentence because, right now, DDR3 is exceedingly expensive. Worry not though, as by the time this technology is introduced, DDR3’s pricing will be more sensible – it will be implemented into future Opteron processors released sometime in 2009.

Socket F will be the socket that AMD’s Opteron processors use until after the company’s 45nm Shanghai processor makes its debut in mid-2008. After Shanghai, AMD’s Opteron processors released in 2009 will use socket G3 – this, not surprisingly, is where G3MX gets its name.

G3MX will double the amount of memory channels from two to four, meaning that it’s possible for processors featuring G3MX to address up to 16 DIMMs instead of the current maximum of eight. One thing that AMD hasn’t revealed at the moment is whether G3MX will require registered ECC or standard desktop DDR3 memory modules.

AMD’s intention is for the technology to be an alternative to FBDIMMs, which tend to be power hungry and certainly aren’t cheap – it’s also questionable whether they will ever get “cheap” in the future, too. DDR3, on the other hand, has the potential to get cheaper when volume increases and power consumption is also appreciably lower too.

It’s not clear whether this technology will make its way onto the desktop in a similar time frame, but given that the amount of memory we’re talking about here it’s unlikely to be required for some time.

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