Space Saving RAM, up to 128GB of Memory in the Newly Approved JEDEC CAMM2 Standard

SO-DIMM officially has a successor, and it is glorious.

Source: Dell

CAMM, a new form factor for laptop RAM we have looked at previously, has officially become a JEDEC (Joint Electron Device Engineering Council) standard. Now officially called CAMM2, being ratified by JEDEC means the technology developed by Dell will surely start showing up in the newest generation of laptops. This will be the first move away from the SO-DIMM standard in over two decades.

CAMM started out as a proprietary technology developed by Dell and introduced with Dell’s Precision 7670 laptop. As discussed in our previous post, the main benefit of CAM is its thin profile. According to Dell it is 57% thinner than the SO-DIMM standard. Dell has also claimed it can pass the 6500MHz barrier for DDR5 SO-DIMM memory and could even scale to “even higher clock speeds”.

While this was a huge leap forward for Dell, as it has been proprietary and only manufactured by Dell, it has not been viable to implement in new systems for other brands. With JEDEC standardizing CAMM2, they have largely resolved the issue. JEDEC set specifications for memory like DDR5, GDDR6 and HBM3.

The CAMM2 specifications JEDEC has set include two variants: one DDR5 and one for LPDDR5(X). This will make non-soldered LPDDR5(X) memory possible and could possibly lead to the decline of soldered LPDDR5(X) memory. The variants have physically different pinouts so they can’t be used interchangeably.

Another benefit of the new CAMM2 is that, for dual channel memory, two CAMM2 modules aren’t needed. A single module can be made to have two memory channels, which gives more memory bandwidth to the CPU and iGPU (integrated GPU) for greater performance. SO-DIMM memory can only have a single channel per stick. Despite that advantage, there are also single channel CAMM2 modules planned.

It can be expected that CAMM2 will take some time to fully replace the SO-DIMM standard – we will probably see major overlap between the two standards before CAM2 takes over entirely. We can also expect CAMM2 modules to be more expensive than the SO-DIMM counterpart, due to how new the technology is.

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