Micron expects significant improvements in bandwidth and performance for business servers

At CES 2020, Micron announced it is now sampling next-gen DDR5 RAM.

Micron expects significant improvements in bandwidth and performance for business servers

TechRepublic's Karen Roby talked to Jeff Bader, vice president and general manager of Embedded Business Unit at Micron Technology, at CES 2020 about new technologies the company is releasing. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation. 

Jeff Bader: One of the big products we introduced this show is the world's first DDR5 [double-data rate 5] memory, which is the next generation of DDR, DRAM memory that'll go into servers and compute platforms. It offers something like 85% performance improvement over the prior generation of DRAM [dynamic random-access memory], and it's our offering on what we call our 1y technology, which is our third generation of 10 nanometer class DRAM technology. It's quite a leadership product that we have.

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Karen Roby: That is really significant in terms of the increase.

Jeff Bader: Absolutely. And it's going to be critical for the continued growth of cloud computing, and the continued growth of the capabilities that you're going to, now, be able to provide from those servers and that infrastructure.

Karen Roby: What does it mean for companies and for the cloud, for everything?

Jeff Bader: I think it continues to enable the types of services we've all become dependent on. I mean, we don't even think about how many times a day we're going back to the cloud and taking stuff, and so that's one of the mega trends that's been [ going on] for the last several years, it's going to continue for the next several years.

That is critical for 5G rollout as well. We've heard the 5G technologies rolling out... mainly we think about it in the mobile phone. There's a tremendous amount of infrastructure, and a tremendous amount of server capability, enterprise capability. It's going to be needed to deliver the services that we're going to want to then consume with 5G.

Karen Roby: Talk, Jeff, a little more about 5G and the state where we are now, finally moving from hype to reality, and what that means with you guys.

Jeff Bader: Well, 5G is going to impact almost every application segment you can think about. Obviously the mobile phone, again it's sort of the starting point of this, we would expect something in the neighborhood of a hundred or several hundred million phones already this year to begin deploying with 5G. There's, of course, all the networking and the infrastructure required to deliver that.

Then there are the applications that will emerge on top of that, right? We talk about the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), or the Internet of Things (IoT). We talk about automated driving, some of the V2X technologies. So many new capabilities are sort of hinged on what 5G is going to provide from a capability perspective.

Karen Roby: And what we talk about every year here at CES, it's that things are going to be faster and lower latency, all of these improvements that we're used to now, or we expect now. So, what is it that excites you this year of where you guys are, and where Micron is going to in the future?

Jeff Bader: I think maybe we've reached past the height point of the deployment of artificial intelligence and machine learning in, again, almost every application. I'm personally responsible for the automotive industry at Micron, and that's a huge growth factor with all the growth of safety features and maybe someday future autonomous driving features. And that's all hinged on incredible compute capability that's coming together, that's backed by a tremendous amount of memory bandwidth and memory performance and storage bandwidth performance.

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