Goodbye, SODIMM: The JEDEC Memory Monitor will officially adopt the “General Specification CAMM”, as the next RAM standard for notebook computers.
According to Tom Schnell, a JEDEC panel member, and Dell Senior Distinguished Engineer, JEDEC is currently drafting new specifications for the RAM suite that conforms with RAM standards.
Schnell indeed Create the original CAMM—or compact memory stick—Designed by Dell last year. JEDEC’s CAMM Standard will be based upon this CAMM design. However, it will likely to be slightly different as companies develop it.
Although adopting new hardware standards can be difficult with juicing and dragging feet, as well as all the friction between co-workers about where to eat lunch, JEDEC appears to have made it quite easy.
Schnell claimed that the admission went well with the 20 or more companies that were part of the working group who voted for it.
Schnell stated that “We have unanimous approval” for Spec 0.5. Schnell stated that JEDEC is targeting specification 1.0 completion in the second half of 2023, with CAMM-based systems being retired next year.
Which companies did you vote? Schnell cannot say as each member is free to choose. However, the group includes a range of suppliers from SoCs to connectors to OEMs and all of them voted unanimously to adopt CAMM’s public specification. JEDEC currently has 332 companies, including Apple and ZTE, that work in different areas of memory within different industries.
In April 2022, Dell introduced its CAMM design to replace the obsolete SO-DIMM design used in many gaming laptops and workstations. CAMM is a popular choice because it allows for higher memory densities and scales to ever faster clock speeds.
The rapidly approaching “brick wall”, which will soon be imposed on laptops by SO-DIMMs reaching DDR5/6400, is likely to account for some of the urgency.
Schnell said that although the CAMM specification has not been finalized yet, the first JEDEC CAMMs would take its place as SODIMMs end at 6400.
CAMM is not proprietary
CAMM was misunderstood at first as a proprietary specification that would “lock in customers”. That was not the intention of Dell, as evidenced by the quick approval. Schnell addressed this initial concern and adoption is now underway.
He said that Dell is a large company and that patent royalties are what allows us to keep the lights on. “We basically want to recoup the cost of inventing and implementing it.”
Working alone is not the way the PC World works.
Schnell stated that “We are part of the PC Industry and the PC Industry is built on an ecosystem partners and suppliers that all benefit from each other.” “Yes, Dell brings in great innovations to our systems, however, we also integrate a lot innovation from a lot other people.”
Schnell has already identified possible routes for CAMM to replace SO-DIMM with CAMM currently in development. DDR6 was the obvious choice, but CAMM allows LPDDR6 capability on a replacement module. LPDDR, also known as Low Power DDR memory (or LPDDR), has been favored by many for its ability to power save and smaller laptops. It was also used in a long-standing way back as Sold on.
Schnell is looking forward to a CAMM version that delivers the same performance and power benefits as LPDDR, but in an easily replaceable and upgradeable module. The future is now with JEDEC CAMM certification.
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