Future laptops could soon be thinner and faster thanks to this new standard

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Dell and JEDEC are counting on long-term adoption of a new RAM standard for notebook PCs. Instead of the SO-DIMM format we know, the market could gradually migrate to more efficient CAMM modules.

The two RAM memory modules in SO-DIMM format of the Laptop Framework // Source: Frandroid

Compression Attached Memory Module is the full name of CAMM: a new format of RAM that could soon be found on a large scale in portable PCs. Designed by Dell and announced last year at CES 2022, it has been closely scrutinized by JEDEC, in charge of semiconductor standards, which recently began supporting this new format.

As it is, the organization in charge of format harmonization (RAM in particular) would like CAMM to be the designated replacement for the current SO-DIMM standard, which is used for the RAM modules housed inside many computers. laptops (especially gaming models).

The purpose of the maneuver? Avoid the performance throttling soon to fall victim to RAM in laptops by continuing to use the SO-DIMM format. As PC World explains, SO-DIMMs will not be able to go beyond DDR5 at 6400 MHz. A threshold that the market is getting closer to.

RAM in CAMM format, what’s the point?

Compared to SO-DIMM RAM (used since the mid-’90s), the CAMM format was designed from the ground up to make laptops thinner (according to Dell, CAMMs are, for example, 57% thinner). thinner than their SO-DIMM counterparts), without sacrificing performance. . Therefore, CAMM would easily replace SO-DIMMs from DDR5-6400 and beyond.

According to WCCFTech, CAMM modules will be able to start with 16GB of DDR5 and go as high as 128GB. However, it’s a safe bet that CAMM’s arrival will happen during the transition to DDR6… in a few years. . To do this, laptop manufacturers will have to completely rethink the design of their motherboards in order to take advantage of this new format. Therefore, this SO-DIMM/CAMM transition would not happen immediately.

Source: Dell

Be that as it may, this new standard has the other advantage of being designed to allow for easier repair and replacement. Therefore, it is a format prepared for the future of the market, which seems to be moving towards machines that depend more and more on repairability (we think in particular of Dell’s Luna project or Laptop Framework).

Dell, which designed this new standard in-house, finally says it doesn’t want to make it a proprietary format. The brand, which is nonetheless seeking to recoup its development costs, wishes instead to bet on openness to allow for the most global adoption of CAMM by other brands as possible. With JEDEC’s support, this wish could end up being granted.

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