CXL: a promising solution to data centre memory bottlenecks?

6th December 2023
Sheryl Miles

CXL1 is reshaping the landscape of memory innovation. Therefore, without doubt, CXL has the potential to revolutionise memory utilisation, management, and access in terms of disaggregation and composability.

This paradigm change, which already occurred in the 90s for storage, gives birth to a new industry focused on CXL memory fabric software, systems, and services. At Yole Group, analysts announce a $14 million CXL market by 2023, with primarily prototypes only. This figure should reach about $16 billion by 2028.

Join Yole Group and Rambus for an online event that's set to spark an excitement in the semiconductor industry! Yole Group is thrilled to extend this exclusive invitation to all professionals and enthusiasts in the semiconductor field. For one hour, the market research and strategy consulting company invites you to discover the status of CXL technology and its underlying ecosystem and related business opportunities.

This programme welcomes Rambus, a leading CXL memory company, to deliver its vision of the industry and highlight CXL technology’s assets:

“CXL continues to build momentum as a key technology that will transform memory in the data centre,” said Danny Moore, Marketing and Applications Director, CXL Processing Solutions at Rambus. “As a leading member in the broad CXL ecosystem, Rambus is committed to the development of solutions that will accelerate the adoption of CXL technology providing greater levels of data centre performance and scalability.”

This online event promises to unveil leading-edge insights and discuss emerging market and technology trends and provides a dedicated opportunity for networking with industry memory experts.

Webinar’s programme:

  • Yole Group’s introduction

Emilie Jolivet, Director, Semiconductor, Manufacturing and Computing at Yole Intelligence, part of Yole Group

  • CXL might just be the key to turn today’s server memory challenges into a $15 billion opportunity by 2028.

Thibault Grossi, Senior Technology and Market analyst at Yole Intelligence, part of Yole Group

  • CXL Technology: Revolutionising the Data Centre

Danny Moore, Marketing and Applications Director, CXL Processing Solutions team at Rambus

  • Q&A Session, moderated by Emilie Jolivet

Today, CXL is in its very early stages of deployment, with the first server CPUs supporting the CXL 1.1 interface – Intel’s Sapphire Rapids and AMD’s Genoa – entering mass production in early 2023.

“A significant rise in the market will be seen once the first CXL 2.0 CPUs enter the market,” explains Thibault Grossi, Senior Technology and Market analyst at Yole Intelligence, part of Yole Group. “Expected in the second half of 2024, they will enable the implementation of memory pools shared by many servers in the same rack. The ramp-up will be further reinforced with the availability of CXL 3.0 CPU2 s in late 2025. They are expected to enable memory pooling between racks as well as full disaggregation and composability of accelerators (GPU3 s, DPU4 s, FPGA5 s…) and storage technologies using PCI 6 e.”

This technology directly impacts data centres and DRAM 7 devices. Data centre workloads are becoming increasingly complex, requiring more and more computational power and memory to manipulate ever-growing amounts of data. Memory is a very expensive resource, averaging around 30% of the server value in 2022 and forecasted to reach over 40% by 2025. To tackle such issues, novel memory-processor interfaces – complementary to DDR8 – have been proposed with the aim of optimising the use of resources and accelerating the execution of data centre workloads.

Several technologies competed in this domain; CXL has prevailed and is garnering broad support from the industry. This technology is implemented leveraging the PCIe physical layer, and its objective is to provide cache coherency, disaggregation, and composability of resources in the data centre space, with memory being the main driver for its development.

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