Website shows internals of Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory Modules

Posted 21 December 2018 23:54 CET by Jan Willem Aldershoff

The website Serve The Home has gotten its hands of the new Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory modules and has opened them up. The modules are dual in-line memory modules (DIMMs) that contain the Intel and Micron developed non-volatile 3D Xpoint memory. For the first time, the modules are photographed without a heat spreader.

(Intel Optane V DDR4 DIMM – source: Serve The Home)

The modules that Serve The Home shows have a 128 GB capacity and come from an unknown source. According to the website, the modules don’t come from Intel or a system provider.

On the outside the Optane DIMMs are similar to a regular DDR4 module. On the inside there is some thick thermal paste that makes it fairly hard to remove the heat spreader but Serve The Home found a way. Also on the inside, one can clearly distinct six 3DXpoint packages on one side, and five more on the other side. It’s unclear what the capacity of each package is, but it’s likely that their capacity combined exceeds the module capacity of 128 GB. Serve The Home speculates that this might be due to overprovisioning or that the additional packages might be needed to just fill the memory channels.

Also interesting on the inside, is a chip in the center of the module. Serve The Home has clearly photoshopped that chip to make it impossible to determine what kind of chip it is, the website also doesn’t specifically mention it.

At the other side of the module, on the same location, there is a DDR4 chip from SK Hynix. Due to the joint-venture from Intel and Micron on production of 3DXpoint and NAND Flash, Micron would be a more obvious choice as the supplier of this chip. However, for some reason, Intel uses a DDR4 chip from the South Korean chip giant SK Hynix.

Nevertheless, Micron chips can still be found on the module, the company is the supplier of the LRDIMM  buffer chips (they are the small rectangular chips near the pins) on the Optane DIMM.

Below is a video of the de-lidding of the DIMM, more pictures can be found on the Serve The Home page.

 

 


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